I attended the ISPO World Congress 2013 conference in Hyderabad, India to present a literature review on the orthotic management of deformational plagiocephaly. As a recent graduate from the University of Strathclyde, this was the first World Congress conference that I attended and to have this opportunity to present at it was fantastic. I am very grateful to OETT who agreed to fund a considerable amount towards the experience, alongside the company I work for.
The review was carried out as part of my undergraduate degree and I was whole-heartedly supported by my two supervisors. I presented my paper in a paediatric free paper session and was the only presentation regarding head shape deformities in these sessions. My presentation was very well received and as expected it generated some discussion regarding the controversial treatment protocols for head shape deformities in infants. It was interesting to be able to hear about the treatment methods on an international scale, as I was able to further discuss my findings with other Orthotists who practice cranial remoulding as part of their clinics. Although I do not practice cranial remoulding in my clinics at the moment, I feel that I have knowledge to discuss the topic with clinicians who do because of the in depth research I carried out for my literature review.
The controversy regarding deformational plagiocephaly comes from the belief that it is a purely cosmetic condition. This means that in the UK families must fund their own treatment which can be fairly costly. My literature aimed to look at the efficacy of the methods of shape capture of the infant’s skull, as well as finding out the best and most effective mode of treatment remould the skull.
By attending the conference I have been able to further my learning by taking part in instructional courses, for example on OA knee bracing as well as symposiums of which the most interesting and appealing to myself were the presentations regarding new advances in design of orthopaedic footwear and the treatment of the diabetic foot. The two large exhibition halls were a great opportunity to meet fellow clinicians and find out about new products which are available.
Since return from the conference I feel my skills as a clinician have grown and I have the confidence to present another exciting project the opportunity next arises.