Clinical profile and evolution of infants with deformational plagiocephaly included in a conservative treatment program

Childs Nerv Syst. 2013 Oct;29(10):1893-8. doi: 10.1007/s00381-013-2120-x. Epub 2013 May 5.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of a conservative intervention in infants with plagiocephaly according to their specific clinical profile.

Methods: Prospective clinical trial in which 104 infants with plagiocephaly accompanied or not by congenital or positional torticollis were referred to Early Care and Monitoring Unit (USAT) of San Cecilio Hospital in Granada, between 2009 and 2012. All the infants, grouped into three categories of severity, were included in the physiotherapy protocol until adequate craniofacial morphology and motor development were achieved. The study included an assessment of parents and infants. Parents were assessed with a questionnaire about the mother's medical history and birth-related issues. The assessment of infants included anthropometric measures, a positional assessment, the observation of the head, the assessment of severity, and motor development.

Results: Birth characteristics were similar in the total sample but showed different clinical profiles according to treatment aspects. More specifically, infants with severe plagiocephaly were referred to treatment later and spent more time in treatment; use of an orthotic helmet was also more prevalent in this category. There were also significant differences (P < 0.05) in the acquisition of specific gross motor skills depending on the severity of plagiocephaly.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the physiotherapy protocol presented is effective to correct plagiocephaly. Severity of plagiocephaly is a marker that should be taken into account when designing actions aimed at improving gross motor skill development.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / therapy*