Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Torticollis -- diagnosis


Purpose: The main objective of this study was to gather data from development screeners providing infant/toddler developmental screening regarding the criteria used to identify torticollis, information about referral practices when torticollis is suspected, and the information being provided to parents regarding torticollis.

Subjects: Subjects were recruited through a midwestern developmental screening organization. All developmental screeners were invited to participate in this study and inclusion criteria consisted of participants that currently were completing developmental screenings in the selected regional area.

Procedures: Focused interviews along with pre-questionnaires were utilized to gather the data. The pre-questionnaire which was distrusted first, included questions regarding demographics and current professional practice. Two interviews were held simultaneously. Each interview was recorded through the use of a note taker and DVD recording. The interview consisted of a total of seven questions overall and lasted about 45 minutes.

Data Analysis: For statistical analysis, a triangulation approach was utilized. Common themes and denominators along with memorable quotes from the screeners were compiled. Descriptive statistics were also utilized for the nominal data.

Results: The tum out rate for the focus interview was seven out of twelve developmental screeners (58.39%). The results of the pre-questionnaire indicated that developmental screeners utilized the following as criteria to identify torticollis to be head tilt, flattened head shape, and restricted neck (cervical) motion. The results of the focused interview process identified head/neck asymmetry, family self-identification and the child's ability to complete midline tracking as the criteria used most often for torticollis identification. The results of this study also indicated that the screeners considered plagiocephaly and club foot to be the most commonly identified associated conditions with torticollis.

Conclusions and Clinical Application: The results of this study indicated further research is needed to determine the criteria commonly used to identify torticollis, along with its associated conditions. In addition, education regarding the used of comprehensive and consistent criteria for the identification of torticollis is recommended to prevent failure to identify this condition or associated pathologies.