The effects of a four-week intensive scoliosis-specific exercise programme on patient-reported quality of life in adult subjects with idiopathic scoliosis: a >3 years follow-up study
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KeywordsIdiopathic Scoliosis Specific Instrument Relevant Time Observational Case Intensive Exercise
Health-related quality of life (QoL) is often reduced in adults with scoliosis ; therefore it is essential for any treatment they receive to address this. The Scoliosis Research Society-30 (SRS-30) questionnaire is a widely used , specific instrument to measure clinical outcomes in patients with scoliosis .
The aim of this observational case series is to investigate previous results on whether a four-week intensive scoliosis-specific exercise programme improves patient-reported QoL in subjects with idiopathic scoliosis, by using a much larger number of participants, longer follow-up and only including adult patients.
The data set was composed of 731 adult patients (578 females and 153 males) with idiopathic scoliosis and a mean age of 33 years (range 18-64 years, SD 14.68) who were treated with a four-week intensive course of scoliosis-specific physiotherapy (the ScolioGold method) between 2006 and 2013. All patients were asked to rate their QoL on their first day of treatment, at the end of their four-week course and at any subsequent check-up appointments they attended, using a modified version of the SRS-30 questionnaire (replacing ‘surgery’ with ‘treatment’). Each subset, which was analysed from the original data set, was determined by having data pre-treatment and at the relevant time point.
In the cohort analysed before and after treatment (n=512), mean total SRS-30 score increased from 3.19 (SD 0.58) to 3.60 (SD 0.47). For the cohort analysed before treatment and at >3 years (n=64), SRS-30 score increased from 3.23 (SD 0.58) to 3.69 (SD 0.44). Increases in QoL compared to pre-treatment results were found to be statistically significant (p = <0.05 using a pairwise t-test, corrected for multiple comparisons) at all time points investigated (post-treatment, 1 year, 3 years, >3 years). This was reflected in all subscales, with the exception of function.
These results show the positive effect of intensive exercise methods, such as ScolioGold, on adult patients’ QoL and add to the evidence for scoliosis-specific physiotherapy. However, future research is required to establish the effects of treatment on those adults who elect not to return for check-up appointments, including those who may, or may not, have discontinued treatment.
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