Current Role at Stanford

Director of Annual Giving, Medical Center Development

Education & Certifications

  • MA, North Carolina State University, Anthropology
  • BA, University of Massachusetts, Sociology

All Publications

  • Ankyloglossia Identification, Diagnosis, and Frenotomy: A Qualitative Study of Community Referral Pathways JOURNAL OF HUMAN LACTATION Unger, C., Chetwynd, E., Costello, R. 2020; 36 (3): 519–27


    Researchers and practitioners continue to debate the most appropriate assessment, diagnostic, and treatment practices for ankyloglossia (tongue-tie). Health care workers struggle to provide evidence-based care in the absence of consistent standards.The aims of this pilot study were to qualitatively (a) evaluate the knowledge of, and attitudes toward tongue-tie and (b) describe how they shaped referral pathways and the establishment of practice patterns of frontline practitioners (pediatric dentists, speech-language pathologists, pediatric chiropractors, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants).We recruited clinicians (N = 9) using nonprobability purposive sampling. Participants were interviewed using survey schedules adjusted to reflect their specialty area. Semistructured interviews were transcribed and coded using manual and inductive coding techniques common in grounded theory. Themes were iteratively developed using memoing techniques, in which observations and potential concepts were recorded using the aforementioned codes.Participants were familiar with a variety of protocols and assessment tools, but did not consistently use them. No formal training about the management of tongue-tie was received through their degree programs. Instead they pursued self-guided study. Interprofessional consensus guided opinions about tongue-tie best practices, and referral pathways reflected these consensuses. International Board Certified Lactation Consultants were viewed as pivotal to the care of infants with tongue-tie while primary care physicians-primarily pediatricians-were omitted from referral pathways.Lack of formalized training, professional consensus about best practices, and insufficient resources for assessing and treating tongue-tie led participants to incomplete referral pathways and personal interpretations of the data through the lens of anecdotal evidence.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0890334419887368

    View details for Web of Science ID 000502486000001

    View details for PubMedID 31835960