Plagiocephaly Research

Plagiocephaly in Infants

We are often told by the parents who see us that they have been told there is no evidence that head shape deformities will not self correct. They are also told that helmet type treatments offer no significant improvement over waiting and seeing. The contrary view is also true, there is no evidence that head shapes do improve significantly without help. Our experience and that of the parents that we help is that we do gain a rapid and permanent improvement which is radically above what would happen naturally.

 To help parents, Steve Mottram, the UK’s leading clinical expert in flat head syndrome correction has compiled expert opinion research papers, all dedicated to improving the lives of the types of infants that have Plagiocephaly and flat head syndrome.

Below is a series of independently written Plagiocephaly Research Papers that we have gathered, consisting of information collected over the past 10 years. The list is continually being added and gives a broad overview of the current thinking on the subject. We often refer parents who would like to find out more about the condition and methods of treatment to this information.

Click on the links below to read the documents in full.

  • Characteristics, Head Measurements and Developmental Delay
    Aim: To describe the characteristics, developmental status and severity of head shape deformation in infants presenting to a plagiocephaly clinic.
    Read the full article online.
  • Development in Toddlers With and Without Deformational Plagiocephaly (July 2009)
    Aim: To determine whether the heightened risk of developmental delays seen in infancy in patients with deformational plagiocephaly (DP) continues into the toddler years.
    Read the full article online.
  • Brain volume and shape in infants with deformational plagiocephaly (June 2012)
    Aim: Infants with deformational plagiocephaly (DP) have been shown to exhibit developmental delays relative to unaffected infants. Although the mechanisms accounting for these delays are unknown, one hypothesis focuses on underlying differences in brain development. In this study, we used MRI to examine brain volume and shape in infants with and without DP.
    Read the full article online.
  • Incidence of Otitis Media in Children With Deformational Plagiocephaly (Sept 2009)
    Aim: In the past decade, deformational plagiocephaly has seen a staggering increase attributed to the Back to Sleep Campaign of April 1992. With this increase, the possible clinical associations need to be fully understood.
    Read the full article online.
  • Outcome Analysis of Helmet Therapy for Positional Plagiocephaly Using a Three-Dimensional Surface Scanning Laser (2009)
    Aim: A dramatic rise in positional plagiocephaly has been noted over the last decade. Methods for treating and following outcomes are varied. We present our results from a passive soft helmet molding therapy using a surface scanning laser to provide objective outcomes.
    Read full article online.
  • Risk Factors Associated With Deformational Plagiocephaly (Mar 2008)
    Aim: This study was designed to statistically evaluate the independent and interacting effects of biological and environmental risk factors that influence lateralization of deformational plagiocephaly (DP) in an attempt to provide future guidance for clinical treatment.
    Read full article online.
  • Risk Factors for Deformational Plagiocephaly at Birth and at 7 Weeks of Age: A Prospective Cohort Study (Feb 2007)
    Aim: The purpose of this work was to identify risk factors for deformational plagiocephaly within 48 hours of birth and at 7 weeks of age.
    Read full article online.
  • Effect of Pediatric Physical Therapy on Deformational Plagiocephaly in Children With Positional Preference (Aug 2008)
    Aim: To study the effect of pediatric physical therapy on positional preference and deformational plagiocephaly.
    Read full article online.
  • Deformational Plagiocephaly (Feb 2009)
    Aim:To compare head shape measurements, parental concern about head shape and developmental delays in infancy with measurements obtained at follow-up at ages 3 and 4 years.
    Read full article online.
  • Does Helment Therapy Influence the Ear Shift in Positional Plagiocephaly (Sept 2012)
    Aim: Helmet therapy is widely accepted in the treatment of severe positional plagiocephaly. The improvement of the cranial asymmetry under therapy is evident, but parents are also concerned about the ear shift. Our study investigated the influence of helmet therapy on the position of the ears and analyzed the reliability of clinical observations regarding cranial asymmetry and ear shift.
    Read full article online.
  • Prevalence of Positional Plagiocephaly in Teens Born after the “Back to Sleep” Campaign (May 2008)
    Aim: To determine the prevalence of positional plagiocephaly and brachycephaly in teenagers born after the “Back to Sleep” campaign but before orthotic helmet treatment became widely available and to provide long-term outcomes data on those children with plagiocephaly who were not treated with remolding therapy.
    Read full article online.
  • Motor Development of Infants with Positional Plagiocephaly (2010)
    Aim: The purpose of this study was to compare motor development between infants with PP and matched peers without PP. We also examined differences in infant positioning practices when asleep and awake between the two groups.
    Read full article online.
  • Quantification Of Plagiocephaly And Brachycephaly In Infants Using A Digital Photographic Technique (Sept 2010)
    Aim: The aims of the study were: (1) to develop a technique to quantify plagiocephaly that is safe, accurate, objective, easy to use, well tolerated, and inexpensive; and (2) to compare this method with tracings from a flexicurve ruler. Design: A case-control study of 31 case infants recruited from outpatient plagiocephaly clinics and 29 control infants recruited from other pediatric outpatient clinics.
    Read full article online.
  • Helmet Versus Active Repositioning for Plagiocephaly: A Three Dimensional Analysis (Sept 2005)
    Aim: Orthotic helmets and active repositioning are the most common treatments for deformational plagiocephaly (DP). Existing evidence is not sufficient to objectively inform decisions between these options. A three-dimensional (3D), whole-head asymmetry analysis was used to rigorously compare outcomes of these 2 treatment methods.
    Read full article online.
  • Prevention and Management of Positional Skull Deformities in Infants (2007)
    Aim: This report provides guidance for the prevention, diagnosis, and management of positional skull deformity in an otherwise normal infant without evidence of associated anomalies, syndromes, or spinal disease.
    Read full article online.
  • Management of Positional Plagiocephaly (Jan 2007)
    Aim: The purpose of this article is to summarise current concepts in the management of positional plagiocephaly and to highlight the present controversy concerning management of the condition with helmet therapy.
    Read full article online.
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