The Ste-Justine Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Cohort Study: Part II

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This study determined the health and well being of persons with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) more than 10 years after referral. This communication will present results related to the perception of health, self and body image, and difficulty with selected physical activities.

Study Design.

The study was designed as a comparative retrospective cohort study. Subjects referred for AIS between 1960 and 1979 to a large pediatric hospital in Montreal, Quebec were entered in the cohort. A population-based control group was selected from the general population of Quebec at the time of survey.


Health outcomes were assessed by a postal questionnaire administered to the AIS cohort and to the control group. Most outcomes were ordinal and, thus, odds ratios were estimated using ordinal regression while adjusting for potential confounding factors.


AIS subjects, particularly those who were surgically treated, had a significantly higher prevalence of self-reported arthritis. Scoliosis subjects perceived themselves to be less healthy than other persons the same age and, particularly among women, scoliosis subjects had a poorer perception of body image, and had more physician visits and days ill than control subjects. In addition, male and female AIS subjects had more difficulty with physical activities. This rather negative perception of health could be a result of actual illness or a result of more concern about illness. Never-theless, they had a more positive perception self and appeared to be able to cope with their affliction and disfigurement in a positive way.

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