Date: June 2022.
Source: Child’s Nervous System.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of depressive symptoms and self-esteem, and their association with facial asymmetry in adults who were operated on in early childhood due to metopic and sagittal craniosynostosis.
Materials and Methods: The study population consisted of 49 non-syndromic patients of whom 41 had premature fusion of the sagittal and 8 of metopic suture. There were 64 controls from the Finnish National Register. Self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and subjective satisfaction with one’s appearance were evaluated by using the Rosenberg self-esteem questionnaire (RSE), the short form of Beck Depression Inventory (R-BDI), and a purpose-designed questionnaire on satisfaction with facial and overall appearance. Aesthetic evaluation was done from standard photographs using panels. The facial symmetry was calculated by using 3D photogrammetric methods.
Results: Patients did not have a lower self-esteem or experience significantly more moderate or severe depressive symptoms. However, 20% of the patients and 6% of the controls (p = 0.041) experienced mild depressive symptoms. There was no difference between self-assessed evaluation of appearance between the groups. Only weak correlation was found between facial asymmetry and RSE or R-BDI results (cc = 0.27–0.42, p < 0.05). The self-assessed evaluation of facial and overall appearance correlated strongly with the R-BDI results.
Conclusions: Non-syndromic craniosynostosis patients are as satisfied with their appearance in adulthood as the control group and do not experience a lower self-esteem or more depressive symptoms. Facial asymmetry does not correlate with low self-esteem or clinically significant depressive symptoms in adulthood. Subjective evaluation of one’s appearance correlated with depressive symptoms. Age and gender do not influence the former results. Overall, patients are satisfied with their appearance.

Article: Appearance or attitude: what matters to craniosynostosis patients? Association of self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and facial aesthetics in patients with sagittal and metopic synostosis.
Authors: Anja Svalina, Emma Heikura, Tuula Savolainen, Willy Serlo, Juha-Jaakko Sinikumpu, Anna-Sofia Silvola, Niina Salokorpi, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.