Infant Cranial Deformity: Cranial Helmet Therapy or Physiotherapy?

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Apr 10;17(7):2612. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17072612.


Objective: To compare cranial helmet therapy (CHT) and physiotherapy (PT) for the effective treatment of positional plagiocephaly in infants in terms of improving functional recovery. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study involving 48 infants between 5-10 months of age with cranial deformities. The Cranial Vault Asymmetry Index (CVAI) and the Brunet-Lezine scale were calculated at the initiation of the study and after 40 treatment sessions. Results: The infants' first assessment showed a delay in overall development areas with a global developmental quotient (DQ) (posture, coordination, sociability, and language) of 80.15. Although developmental improvements were observed in both groups in the Brunet-Lezine scale after treatment, the MANCOVA test showed no significant differences (F(5) = 0.82, p = 0.506, eta2 = 0.09). The CVAI reduced to 4.07% during the final evaluation in the cranial helmet group and 5.85% in the physiotherapy group without any significant differences between the two therapies (p = 0.70). Conclusions: No statistically significant differences were found between CHT and PT. After treatment, improvements from baseline measurements were observed in each of the readings of cranial deformity.

Keywords: helmet; intervention; physiotherapy; plagiocephaly; treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Head Protective Devices*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic* / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skull
  • Treatment Outcome