Allyson Barley
The Social and Emotional Impact of Congenital Hand Diffrences on the Family

SchoolAvon High School


MentorWilliam H. Seitz, Jr., MD

DepartmentHand and Upper Extremity Center at Lutheran Hospital

The Social and Emotional Impact of Congenital Hand Differences on the Family
If a child was born with a congenital hand difference, it would affect the family and may either cause stress and tension or have positive outcomes. A pamphlet could be created to help parents throughout the treatment process.
Last year, a survey was distributed in person, over the phone, or by email asking about the family’s lifestyle, relationships/emotions, and feelings toward surgery. This summer a guidebook and support network were created for parents.
Most families said their lives changed somewhat because of the treatment process. They thought the best way to cope with having a child with a hand difference was to treat the child normally. After the initial shock of the diagnoses, families were strengthened which created support. Most families decided that their child would have corrective surgery. The common motivation for the surgery was function.