Wearing a body orthosis for the treatment of scoliosis leads to increased stress levels for young patients with scoliosis — as well as their parents, according to a study published in Spine.
The authors also found that while parents and young patients attribute an equal amount of stress to conservative orthotic treatment, parents attribute more stress for their children toward the deformity itself.
“Complete assessment of conservative treatment should include evaluation of emotional stress from the perspective of patients and parents,” the authors wrote.
According to the study abstract, the authors performed a cross-sectional analysis of patients’ and parents’ perceptions of deformity- and orthosis-related stress with regard to the conservative treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Sixty-three parent/patient pairs were involved in the study, with the patients being girls aged 10 years to 17 years with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who had been treated with an orthosis.
Patients and parents were asked to separately complete the Bad Sobberheim Stress Questionnaire-Deformity and Bad Sobberheim Stress Questionnaire-Brace at a mean of 14-12 months after the start of conservative treatment.
According to the abstract, the authors found patients reported a moderate level of stress in connection with conservative treatment. Stress level attributed to perceived trunk deformation, however, was low. Parents believed their children experienced a moderate level of stress both because of conservative treatment and spinal deformity.
“Patients and parents perceive the emotional stress related to brace treatment in the same way,” the authors wrote. “However, parents overestimate the assessment of stress levels related to body deformity.”
The authors suggested that to reduce emotional distress and help prevent patient dropout, children with scoliosis should be comprehensively evaluated — and the evaluation should “take into account the stress level related to parents’ perception of the psychological burden and emotional stress connected with the spinal deformity of the child.”
Misterska E, Glowacki M, Latuszewska J. Female patients’ and parents’ assessment of deformity- and brace-related stress in the conservative treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Spine. 2012. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31824b66d4