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Determination of quality of life in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis subjected to conservative treatment

Angelo G Aulisa1*, Vincenzo Guzzanti15, Carlo Perisano2, Emanuele Marzetti23, Alessandro Specchia4, Marco Galli2, Marco Giordano1 and Lorenzo Aulisa2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopaedics, Children's Hospital Bambino Gesù, Institute of Scientific Research, P.zza S. Onofrio 4 - 00165 Rome, Italy

2 Department of Orthopaedics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, University Hospital "Agostino Gemelli", L.go F. Vito, 1 - 00168 Rome, Italy

3 Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, Institute on Aging, Division of Biology of Aging, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0143, USA

4 Department of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Physical Therapy, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, University Hospital "Agostino Gemelli", L.go F. Vito, 1 - 00168 Rome, Italy

5 University of Cassino, Strada Folcare, 4 - 03043 Cassino (FR), Italy

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Scoliosis 2010, 5:21  doi:10.1186/1748-7161-5-21

Published: 28 September 2010


Introduction and objectives

Physical deformities caused by adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) coupled with conservative treatment of AIS with orthesis unavoidably impacts on patients' quality of life (QoL). The present study aimed at evaluating the QoL in patients affected by AIS treated with brace. The study also sought to determine the ability of different QoL questionnaires to monitor QoL over the course of treatment.

Materials and methods

Data were collected in 108 consecutive patients (96 females, 16 males) affected by AIS admitted to the outpatient orthopaedic clinic of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome (Italy). Patients were subjected to full-time (i.e., 22 hrs per day) conservative treatment with the progressive action short brace (PASB), the Lyon brace or a combination of PASB + Lyon brace. Three instruments were used for QoL determination: the Scoliosis Research Society 22 (SRS-22), Bad Sobernheim Stress Questionnaire (BSSQ) and the Brace Questionnaire (BrQ).


A significant correlation was detected among the 3 scores (p < 0.001). The BrQ possesses a higher capacity to detect changes in QoL in relation to the patient gender, type of brace, curve severity at baseline and at the completion of treatment, and curve type. Overall, boys displayed a higher QoL than girls. In all 3 questionnaires, higher QoL scores were determined in patients treated with the PASB compared with those using the Lyon brace. QoL scores were significantly correlated with the curve severity. Higher QoL scores were obtained by participants with thoraco-lumbar curves as compared with those with other curves.


The 3 questionnaires are effective in capturing changes in QoL in AIS patients subjected to conservative treatment. However, the BrQ possesses a higher discriminatory capacity compared with the other questionnaires tested. PASB-based treatment is associated with better QoL than the Lyon bracing.