plagiocephaly (DP) has been an increasing problem since the successful “back to
sleep campaign”. The referrals for DP have increased by >400% during the
years 2004 to 2008. Many infants spend less time in the prone position nowadays
and some of the risk factors for DP are as follows: less than 3 times per day for
the tummy time, torticollis and slow achievement of motor milestones. There
is a need for better information to the parents but also for other strategies
to prevent DP. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a special
pillow and thus to reduce pressure on the infant head. Method: infants aged
zero to two months were included in the study. They were randomized to either
intervention group or control group. Head shape was investigated on two
occasions, on the second occasion motor development, mobility and muscle
function of the neck were also investigated. The parents were asked about tummy
time and sleep position. All infants were investigated by the same physical
therapist, blinded to group belonging. Result: seven infants had CVAI >3.5
on the last assessment, five of these had not used any method to reduce
pressure. Fishers exact test showed a tendency where infants with reduced
pressure on the head had less DP (P 0.08). Paired t test showed
significant decrease in CVAI for the infants who had had reduced pressure on
the head (P 0.01). Among these infants
the CVAI was zero for 47% in the last assessment. For the infants who had not
had a reduction of pressure on the head, there was no indication of a decrease
of CVAI (P 0.45), and only 12% of
these infants had a CVAI that was zero in the last assessment. Conclusion: this
pilot study shows that a specially designed pillow may prevent DP in young
infants. However, a larger sample is needed to confirm or disprove this. The
study is planned to go on until there are 200 participants.
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