Prevalence and Consequences of Positional Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly

J Craniofac Surg. 2015 Nov;26(8):e770-3. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002222.


The incidence of positional plagiocephaly and brachycephaly in infants has increased. Treatment options include physiotherapy and helmet therapy.No information exists on the prevalence, cosmetic, and psychological consequences of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly later in life. This study was performed to assess the prevalence and cosmetic relevance of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, as well as its influence on quality of life in adolescence.The authors performed plagiocephalomety to assess cranial shape and used a questionnaire that included question about educational level, medical history, cosmetic appearance, and cranial shape. To evaluate quality of life, the authors used the KIDSCREEN-27 questionnaire.All data were analyzed using SPSS version 19.0 2010. The authors included 87 adolescents. The prevalence of plagiocephaly, defined as an oblique diameter difference index (ODDI) higher than 106%, was 10.3%; the prevalence of brachycephaly, defined as a cranial proportional index (CPI) higher than 95%, was 0%.There was no significant correlation between the level of the ODDI or CPI and the cosmetic assessment of cranial shape (P = 0.128/0.541). There was no significant correlation with the level of the ODDI (P = 0.428).There was no significant correlation between the level of the ODDI or CPI and the average T-value for quality of life using the KIDSCREEN quality-of-life questionnaire (P = 0.461/0.713). The prevalence of positional deformities in our population of adolescents, born after the "back to sleep" campaign, is low. There was no significant correlation between the presence of a cranial deformity and the cosmetic judgement and quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Craniosynostoses / epidemiology*
  • Craniosynostoses / psychology
  • Educational Status
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / epidemiology*
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Quality of Life
  • Skull / pathology