Preventing deformational plagiocephaly through parent guidance: a randomized, controlled trial. H Aarnivala, V Vuollo, V Harila, T Heikkinen, P Pirttiniemi, AM Valkama.

Date: September 2015.
Source: European Journal of Pediatrics, 174(9):1197-208.
Abstract: Deformational plagiocephaly (DP) occurs frequently in otherwise healthy infants. Many infants with DP undergo physiotherapy or helmet therapy, and ample treatment-related research is available. However, the possibility of preventing DP has been left with little attention. We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention in the newborn’s environment, positioning, and handling on the prevalence of DP at 3 months and to investigate the causal relationship between DP and cervical imbalance. We carried out a randomized controlled trial, with healthy newborns randomized into two groups at birth. All families received standard positioning instructions to prevent SIDS. Additionally, the intervention group received detailed instructions regarding the infant’s environment, positioning, and handling, with the goal of creating a nonrestrictive environment that promotes spontaneous physical movement and symmetrical motor development. Two- and three-dimensional photogrammetry served to assess cranial shape and goniometry to measure cervical motion. At 3 months, the prevalence of DP was lower in the intervention group in both 2D (11 vs 31 %) and 3D analyses (15 vs 33 %), and the asymmetry was milder in the intervention group. Infants with DP at follow-up had also developed more torticollis.

Article: Preventing deformational plagiocephaly through parent guidance: a randomized, controlled trial.
Authors: Henri Aarnivala, Ville Vuollo, Virpi Harila, Tuomo Heikkinen, Pertti Pirttiniemi and A. Marita Valkama.

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