Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children doctor reviews diagnosis with patient

Jan 13, 2016 / Scoliosis & Spine

Bracing Compliance Improves When Scoliosis Patients Know They’re Monitored

Study finds adolescents wore braces longer and enjoyed better outcomes when tracking data shared

Adolescent scoliosis patients being treated with bracing were more likely to comply when they knew that the number of hours they wore their braces was being monitored and they were counseled on the results, according to a study published last week in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

The research was conducted at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children by orthopedic staff surgeon Dr. Lori Karol, orthotists Donald Virostek and Kevin Felton, and researcher Lesley Wheeler.

The study found that patients who were counseled with the use of compliance data wore their braces an average of 13.8 hours per day. Patients who were unaware that their bracing was being monitored and were not counseled wore their braces an average of 10.8 hours a day. The patients who were counseled also had less curve progression than the patients who were not.

The study began with 222 patients who were divided into two groups. “In the counseled group, patients were aware of the compliance monitor in the brace and were counseled at each visit regarding downloaded brace-usage data,” according to the study’s methodology. “The patients in the noncounseled group were not told the purpose of the monitor in their brace, and the compliance data were not made available to the physician, orthotist or patient.”

The study builds on earlier research that found better outcomes for patients who followed the prescribed treatment regimen for brace wear. It was conducted to determine if monitoring and counseling would improve compliance.

“Providing patients undergoing bracing for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with feedback about their compliance with brace wear improves that compliance,” researchers concluded. “[And] patients who wore their braces more hours per day had less curve progression … Compliance monitoring and counseling based on that monitoring should become part of the clinical orthotic management of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.”

Read the full study.

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