Does bracing affect self-image? A prospective study on 54 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
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To evaluate the effect of brace treatment on self-image in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, 54 consecutive patients admitted for brace treatment were interviewed before bracing. A prevalidated questionnaire including the following five aspects of self-image was used: (1) body-image, (2) self-perception of skills and talents, (3) emotional well-being, (4) relations with family, and (5) relations with others. As a control group, the answers of 3465 normal school children were used. Forty-six patients participated in a follow-up interview 1.7 (range 0.8–3.0) years later. In addition, during the first interview, the scoliosis patients answered selected questions about their social circumstances and attitudes towards their forthcoming brace treatment. Grossly, the patient group lived in stable family conditions with a high percentage (40%) of fathers and/or mothers with an academic education or with a high employee status. The patients’ relations with families were generally good. Nearly all believed that the brace would affect their posture, but only a few thought that wearing the brace would influence their growth. Two-thirds believed that it would be difficult to wear the brace, and often reflected on the use of it. There were no statistically significant differences between the scoliosis patients and the age-matched controls at the pre-bracing nor at the follow-up interviews. Neither were there any statistically significant differences between the answers of the scoliosis patients in the pre-bracing and follow-up interviews. This was valid for the total score as well as for each subscale item score. It is concluded that wearing the brace does not affect the self-image of adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis negatively.
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