Stress and Coping with Scoliosis: Psychological Effects on Adolescents and Their Families

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SummaryThe psychological, functional, and family impact of brace treatment for idiopathic scoliosis was assessed in a cross-sectional follow-up study. Eighty-four percent of parents described the initial bracing period in stressful terms. Establishing a daily routine facilitated coping with bracewear treatment. While bracewear did not necessarily affect participation in many common activities, subjects perceived limitations in sports, physical activities, and social events. There was no evidence of overt psychopathology among the subjects, although the initial bracewear period was associated with lower levels of self-esteem. Recommendations that can minimize the stresses attendant to bracewear treatment are given.

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