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Sustained attention and vigilance of children treated for sagittal and metopic craniosynostosis.

Journal article
Authors Marizela Kljajić
Giovanni Maltese
Peter Tarnow
Peter Sand
Lars Kölby
Published in Child neuropsychology : a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence
Pages 1-14
ISSN 1744-4136
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Plastic Surgery
Pages 1-14
Language en
Subject categories Cognitive science, Plastic surgery


Attention problems are common in patients with craniosynostosis. Craniosynostosis is a rare condition, studies face challenges of selection bias, small sample sizes, and wide age ranges. The aim of the study was to assess the sustained attention and vigilance of children treated for sagittal and metopic craniosynostosis. To reduce selection bias, we included children that had previously undergone surgery for craniosynostosis, were between 8 and 16 years, and lived close to the craniofacial centre. The Connors Continuous Performance Test (3rd edition) was used to measure sustained attention and vigilance (n = 61; response rate: 76.3%). Attrition analysis revealed no differences between responding and non-responding groups regarding background variables. One identified difference between the SS (n = 28) and MS (n = 23) groups involved significantly better performance by the SS group in the hit-reaction time (HRT) test relative to the MS group (p < 0.05). Compared with the norms, the SS group showed significantly worse response style, detectability, omissions, commissions, perseverations, HRT response speed (HRT-SD), HRT inter-stimulus interval change (HRT-iC) (p < 0.01 for all), and variability (p < 0.05). The MS group showed significantly worse detectability, HRT-SD, variability (p < 0.01 for all), commissions, perseverations and HRT-iC (p < 0.05 for all) as compared with norms. No differences regarding attention was detected for the two different surgical techniques used for correction of sagittal synostosis. There were shortcomings in sustained attention and vigilance as compared with the norms in the SS and MS groups, although the deviations were small.

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