A recent study looked at how adolescents’ knowledge that they were being monitored affected their compliance with wearing scoliosis braces.

In the study, which appeared recently in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, adolescents received scoliosis braces with embedded sensors to monitor use.

The adolescents were then divided into two groups. In the first group, 93 adolescents were told about the existence and purpose of the monitors, and date and time spent wearing the brace were discussed at follow-up visits with physicians. In the second group, 78 adolescents were neither told about the existence of the monitors nor received data about compliance, explains a media release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“Patients who were aware that their device measured brace use, wore their brace, on average, an additional 3 hours each day,” says orthopaedic surgeon and lead study author Lori Karol, MD, in the release.

The study also found that patients who wore their brace were less likely to require surgery, by 11%, due to less spinal progression.

The average curve magnitude at the start of bracing was comparable at the start of the study: 33.2 degrees in the counseled group and 33.9 in the non-counseled group, per the release.

More findings include that: daily brace wear during the initial 180-day time period averaged 15 hours in the counseled group and 12.5 hours in the non-counseled group; and counseled patients who completed bracing averaged 13.8 hours per day of orthotic wear during the entire course of bracing, compared with 10.8 hours per day for patients who did not receive compliance reports, the release explains.

In addition, the study found that the spinal curve did not progress more than 6 degrees between the start of bracing and brace termination in 59% of patients in the counseled group, and 36% of patients in the non-counseled group; and children who did not need surgery wore their brace 2.1 hours more per day on average, the release continues.

“Shared information between the teen, parents, orthotist (who oversees the creation and fit of the custom brace), and physician resulted in improved brace compliance,” Karol states in the release. “These findings emphasize the role that open doctor-patient communication plays in encouraging treatment effectiveness in the adolescent age group.”

[Source(s): American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Science Daily]