Neurodevelopmental delays are known to occur in children with metopic synostosis, but it is presently unclear whether the cognitive, behavioral and psychological outcomes of children with metopic synostosis differ to those of their healthy peers. This meta-analysis consolidated data from 17 studies (published prior to August 2017) that examined the cognitive, behavioral and psychological outcomes of children (n = 666; aged ≤19 yrs) with metopic synostosis. Hedges’g (gw) effect sizes compared the outcomes of samples with metopic synostosis (unoperated, operated) to healthy controls or normative data and, where available, the prevalence of problems/disorders was calculated. Children with unoperated metopic synostosis performed significantly worse than their healthy peers on measures of: general cognition (gw = −.38), motor functioning, (gw = −.81), and verbal (gw = −.82) and visuospatial (gw = −.92) abilities. Children with operated metopic synostosis performed significantly worse on measures of motor functioning (gw = −.45), visuospatial skills (gw = −.32), attention (gw = −.50), executive functioning (gw = −.36), arithmetic ability (gw = −.37), and behavior (gw = −.34). Cognitive, behavioral, and psychological problems were prevalent, but variable. Overall, the cognitive, behavioral, and psychological outcomes of children with metopic synostosis are generally worse than their healthy peers, regardless of surgical status. However, research is sparse, samples small, controls are rarely recruited, and the severity of metopic synostosis often not stated. Nevertheless, the findings suggest that children with metopic synostosis are likely to experience a variety of negative outcomes and should therefore receive ongoing monitoring and support.
- Metopic synostosis
- surgical status