Molding therapy of positional plagiocephaly: subjective outcome and quality of life

B. Govaert*, A. Michels, C. Colla, R.R.W.J. van der Hulst

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    To evaluate quality of life (QOL) and parental satisfaction in children diagnosed and treated with molding helmet therapy (MHT) for positional plagiocephaly, a retrospective chart research was performed on 166 children who had visited the craniofacial outpatient clinic in the University Hospital of Maastricht between 2002 and 2003. Two questionnaires were sent to parents of these children. The first was used to measure QOL (TAPQOL questionnaire) and was related to a healthy control group. The second evaluated parents' satisfaction concerning the shape of their children's head before and after treatment. One hundred forty-two children were diagnosed with positional plagiocephaly. The group consisted of 111 boys (78.2%) and 31 girls (21.8%). Ninety-eight patients were treated by MHT and 44 had no treatment. Indications for treatment were an ARGENTA classification of type 3 or worse and subjective rating of head shape by the parents. Parents of all children treated with MHT were sent both questionnaires. Forty-six parents (response rate 47%) returned the questionnaires. This group consisted of 39 boys and eight girls. The healthy control group consisted of 251 children between the ages of 1 and 5 years and was used to validate the questionnaire in a previous study. There were no significant differences in QOL scores between the healthy control group and children treated with molding helmet therapy (P > 0.05). Parents gave an average rating of 3.6 before therapy and 7.5 after therapy, a difference of 3.9. Of 46 parents whose children had MHT, only two would not repeat or recommend this therapy. Reasons were unsatisfying result and, in one case, serious pressure spots with hair loss. The population in this study was similar to other studies. Results showed no difference in QOL between treated children and a healthy control group. This study showed that MHT in children with severe positional plagiocephaly does not have long-term adverse effects on QOL. Differences in subjective rating show that MHT has a good result on head shape. A 96% satisfaction rate shows that it is a pleasant therapy and gives a satisfying result.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-8
    JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

    Cite this