Our Response to the Recent BMJ Plagiocephaly Report

May 6, 2014

Open Letter from Expert Clinician Addresses Issues with Dutch Plagiocephaly Report

Dear Parents, Physicians, Concerned Health Care Professionals

A recent report from a group in the Netherlands regarding plagiocephaly treatment published in the British Medical Journal has raised significant media interest.

The report describes comparison of results between infants with moderate head shape deformities in treated and non-treated groups and concludes that there is little difference in result between the two groups.

In common with others who help infants here in the UK and in the rest of the world, we regard the report as severely flawed due to several reasons including: selection protocols, flawed treatment regimes, high drop-out rate for the treated group (66% to 73% which continued to be reported as a treated group), selective reporting of data, combining data regarding differing head shapes, and averaging of the data, which masks the individual improvement that infants may have achieved.

An internally developed, subjective and generous definition of severity was developed by the study group. This does not take note of the statistical range of head shape deformity in the population.

Treatment regimes offered were not described or critiqued and it was obvious that infants had been provided with poorly fitting and uncomfortable helmets which rotated, rubbed and caused problems during wear. This would have had significant effect on parent compliance and final outcome of the treatments offered.

This study from the Netherlands does not reflect the results achieved by the TiMband, with excellent correction in over 95% of the infants that we treat. We advise and educate on repositioning and only 70% of the infants that we see require TiMband treatment. We at Technology in Motion are proud of our results and the professional care and attention that we give to our patients.

We have been working for over ten years in this field and our ongoing mission is to educate and advise professionals and parents and treat infants who have head shape deformities with a view to reducing the severity and incidence of these distressing conditions.

We would like to reassure the parents who seek advice and treatment from us that all infants are assessed and treated as individuals. Each one achieves excellent results with minimal problems and no pain or discomfort similar to that which was identified in the report. The reported issues do not correspond with our experience or those of the parents and infants that we treat. We have written to the author and will be writing to the Editor to express our concerns regarding this report.

Sincerely

Steve Mottram MBAPO

Managing Director and Consultant Orthotist