Intended for healthcare professionals


Helmet therapy for positional plagiocephaly and brachycephaly

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 01 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2906
  1. Brent R Collett, assistant professor
  1. 1Seattle Children’s Research Institute, PO Box 5371, Mailstop CW8-6, Seattle, WA 98145, USA
  1. bcollett{at}

Negligible treatment effects in the first randomized evaluation

Positional plagiocephaly and brachycephaly affects approximately 20% of infants and is the most common reason for referral in many craniofacial centers.1 2 This reflects an increase in the incidence of the condition after several countries implemented public health campaigns that encouraged parents to position their babies in a supine position for sleep to prevent sudden infant death syndrome. The advent and marketing of orthotic treatments for positional plagiocephaly and brachycephaly has also likely increased awareness of plagiocephaly among parents and medical professionals. Although the persistence and implications of infant skull deformities are unclear, often parents are concerned about outcomes for their child and are motivated to participate in treatment. Previous studies showed improvements in head shape after orthotic treatment3; however, until the study by van Wijk and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj.g2741) published …

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