Perceived Distortion in Scoliosis Tied to Quality of Life

Non-braced patients perceive their body appearance to be significantly less distorted

FRIDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- For adult patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, there is an inverse association between perceived distortion and quality of life (QOL), according to a study published online Oct. 27 in Spine.

Aina J. Danielsson, M.D., Ph.D., from Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden, and colleagues examined the effects of subjective present body appearance on QOL in adult patients with idiopathic scoliosis. In 1995, patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with moderate curve sizes were assigned to a brace or observation (non-braced). Sixteen years after maturity, 37 and 40, respectively, were followed up and completed the Scoliosis Research Society quality-of-life questionnaire (SRS-22) and the Short Form-36 (SF-36). The participants' opinions on body appearance were graded by pictorial evaluation using the Spinal Appearance Questionnaire. Curve sizes, scoliometer measurements for grading trunk asymmetry, and QOL measures were compared with these scores.

The investigators found that the groups had a similar age and curve size (mean age, 32 years; curve size, 35 degrees). There was an inverse association between distortion and the SRS-22 total score and satisfaction/dissatisfaction with management subscore, but no association with the SRS-22 function subscore. Trunk rotation was similar for non-braced and braced patients (mean, 10.7 and 10.8 degrees, respectively). Compared with braced patients, non-braced patients estimated their body appearance to be significantly less distorted.

"Patients who experienced less body asymmetry were more satisfied with treatment and had a better quality of life," the authors write.

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