Research Article| Volume 58, ISSUE 7, P812-818, September 2020

Is there a difference in judgement of facial appearance depending on ethnic background? Photographic evaluation of facial appearance in orthognathic surgery


      Is there a variation in facial ideals depending on ethnic background that affects judgements of outcome in orthognathic surgery? How does the evaluation correlate with patient-reported outcome measures? Two evaluation panels, Singaporean and Swedish, judged photographs of patients undergoing orthognathic surgery taken before and after operation. Improvement in facial aesthetics was calculated between the two ratings. The result was compared between the panels and correlated with health-related quality of life (QoL) measures. Thirty male and 27 female patients aged between 18 and 28 years (mean 21) were included, and 52 subjects were eligible for comparison of health-related QoL. The photographic evaluation showed that both panels judged there to be significant improvement in facial aesthetics after treatment (p < 0.001). The Singaporean panel rated the overall facial appearance higher than the Swedish panel when evaluating photographs both before (p = 0.025) and after (p = 0.032) operation. Improvement of the overall facial appearance showed no significant difference between the panels (p > 0.30). No correlation between health-related QoL and improvement of facial appearance was found by either panel. Subjective evaluation of facial aesthetics in orthognathic surgery is unaffected by the observer’s ethnic origin. Independently of their ethnicity, the evaluation juries found that facial aesthetics improved after orthognathic surgery. Improvement reported by the juries corresponded to that reported by patients.


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