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      Opinion of Headhunters about the Ability of Strabismic Subjects to Obtain Employment

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          Background: Through the opinion of Swiss headhunters, we wanted to determine the influence of strabismus on the ability to obtain employment. Methods:Out of 31 randomly selected Swiss headhunters, 20 could be interviewed using a validated questionnaire. Results: Forty-seven percent of the headhunters judged that strabismic subjects have more difficulties in obtaining a job. Gender has no influence on discrimination (p > 0.1). Asked about six facial disfigurements, strabismus was found to have the second largest negative impact on employment directly after acne. Strabismus was estimated to decrease the attractiveness of job applicants (p < 0.0001) and to have a negative impact on the overall judgment of a potential employer (p < 0.05). Conclusions:Visible strabismus influences negatively the ability to obtain a job. Because of its impact on the employability of a person, we believe that strabismus surgery in adults cannot be considered to be only a beautifying procedure.

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          Most cited references 5

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          Perceived functional impact of abnormal facial appearance.

          Functional facial deformities are usually described as those that impair respiration, eating, hearing, or speech. Yet facial scars and cutaneous deformities have a significant negative effect on social functionality that has been poorly documented in the scientific literature. Insurance companies are declining payments for reconstructive surgical procedures for facial deformities caused by congenital disabilities and after cancer or trauma operations that do not affect mechanical facial activity. The purpose of this study was to establish a large, sample-based evaluation of the perceived social functioning, interpersonal characteristics, and employability indices for a range of facial appearances (normal and abnormal). Adult volunteer evaluators (n = 210) provided their subjective perceptions based on facial physical appearance, and an analysis of the consequences of facial deformity on parameters of preferential treatment was performed. A two-group comparative research design rated the differences among 10 examples of digitally altered facial photographs of actual patients among various age and ethnic groups with "normal" and "abnormal" congenital deformities or posttrauma scars. Photographs of adult patients with observable congenital and posttraumatic deformities (abnormal) were digitally retouched to eliminate the stigmatic defects (normal). The normal and abnormal photographs of identical patients were evaluated by the large sample study group on nine parameters of social functioning, such as honesty, employability, attractiveness, and effectiveness, using a visual analogue rating scale. Patients with abnormal facial characteristics were rated as significantly less honest (p = 0.007), less employable (p = 0.001), less trustworthy (p = 0.01), less optimistic (p = 0.001), less effective (p = 0.02), less capable (p = 0.002), less intelligent (p = 0.03), less popular (p = 0.001), and less attractive (p = 0.001) than were the same patients with normal facial appearances. Facial deformity caused by trauma, congenital disabilities, and postsurgical sequelae present with significant adverse functional consequences. Facial deformities have a significant negative effect on perceptions of social functionality, including employability, honesty, and trustworthiness. Adverse perceptions of patients with facial deformities occur regardless of sex, educational level, and age of evaluator.
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            Impact of large angle horizontal strabismus on ability to obtain employment.

            To determine if large angle esotropia and exotropia could impact a person's ability to obtain employment.
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              Adult psychological functioning of individuals born with craniofacial anomalies.

              This study represents an initial investigation into the adult psychological functioning of individuals born with craniofacial disfigurement. A total of 24 men and women born with a craniofacial anomaly completed paper and pencil measures of body image dissatisfaction, self-esteem, quality of life, and experiences of discrimination. An age- and gender-matched control group of 24 non-facially disfigured adults also completed the measures. As expected, craniofacially disfigured adults reported greater dissatisfaction with their facial appearance than did the control group. Craniofacially disfigured adults also reported significantly lower levels of self-esteem and quality of life. Dissatisfaction with facial appearance, self-esteem, and quality of life were related to self-ratings of physical attractiveness. More than one-third of craniofacially disfigured adults (38 percent) reported experiences of discrimination in employment or social settings. Among disfigured adults, psychological functioning was not related to number of surgeries, although the degree of residual facial deformity was related to increased dissatisfaction with facial appearance and greater experiences of discrimination. Results suggest that adults who were born with craniofacial disfigurement, as compared with non-facially disfigured adults, experience greater dissatisfaction with facial appearance and lower self-esteem and quality of life; however, these experiences do not seem to be universal.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2007
                22 October 2007
                : 221
                : 6
                : 430-433
                aResearch Institute for Labour Economics and Labour Law, University of St. Gallen, and bDepartment of Strabismology and Neuro-Ophthalmology, Kantonsspital, St. Gallen, Switzerland
                107506 Ophthalmologica 2007;221:430–433
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 10, Pages: 4
                Original Paper


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