Date of Conferral



Doctor of Healthcare Administration, DHA


Health Services


Diana Naser


Cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CLP) is an ongoing public health issue across the globe, and in the United States. The estimated number of babies born each year in the United States with cleft palate (CP) is about 2,650, while CLP affects approximately 4,440 babies. The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to determine if there is a relationship between CLP and maternal characteristics such as reproductive history (advanced maternal age, maternal obesity, prenatal visits, month prenatal care began, number of pregnancies, gestational age at birth, assisted reproductive technology used, gestational diabetes, and hypertension), socioeconomic status of the mother (marital status, education, mother's race, payment source for delivery, and place where birth occurred), and admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in U.S. hospitals from January 2016 to December 2016. The epidemiological triad theory served as the study's framework. A secondary dataset from the National Vital Statistics System was used for this study. Logistic regression was used to test the hypothesized associations. Results indicated that many maternal characteristics such as mother's age (p = .000), maternal obesity (p = .020), number of prenatal visits (p = .001), total birth order (p = .001), gestational age at birth (p = .000), gestational diabetes (p = .002), and gestational hypertension (p = .032), mother's education (p = .000), marital status (p = .018), race (p = .000), and admission to NICU (p = .000) were significantly associated with CLP. Results of this study may help health care professionals identify the determinants of the risk of CLP so as to design and implement effective CLP preventive measures among United States populations that are disproportionately affected by this condition.