Health-Related Quality of Life in Adulthood in Untreated and Treated Individuals with Adolescent or Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis

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Abstract

Background:

Health-related quality of life in adults with idiopathic scoliosis diagnosed before maturity has been reported to be similar between brace-treated and surgically treated individuals. The aim of this study was to compare health-related quality of life in untreated, brace-treated, and surgically treated adults with idiopathic scoliosis diagnosed before skeletal maturity. Subgroup analyses were performed on the basis of age at the time of the study, age of onset, surgical characteristics, and curve magnitude.

Methods:

We included 1,187 adults with juvenile or adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with a mean age (and standard deviation) of 38.8 ±12.7 years. Of these, 347 were untreated, 459 had been brace-treated, and 381 had been surgically treated. The Scoliosis Research Society-22r (SRS-22r) and EuroQol 5-Dimensions (EQ-5D) were used. Statistical analyses were performed using analysis of covariance.

Results:

The mean SRS-22r subscore was 4.15 ± 0.59 points for the untreated group, 4.10 ± 0.57 points for the previously braced group, and 4.01 ± 0.64 points for the surgically treated group (p = 0.007 adjusted for age and sex). The EQ-5D index was 0.82 ± 0.20 for the untreated group, 0.82 ± 0.20 for the previously brace-treated group, and 0.79 ± 0.24 for the surgically treated group (p = 0.026, adjusted for age and sex). Brace cessation was at the mean age of 16.2 ± 1.5 years, and the surgical procedure had been performed at the mean age of 15.3 ± 2.1 years. A more caudal fusion was associated with a lower SRS-22r subscore and EQ-5D index. No differences were observed when comparing individuals with juvenile or adolescent onset scoliosis (all p > 0.05).

Conclusions:

Untreated adults with idiopathic scoliosis had similar health-related quality of life to previously brace-treated individuals, and they had marginally higher health-related quality of life compared with surgically treated individuals. Therefore, both surgical and brace treatments for idiopathic scoliosis could be considered successful from a health-related quality-of-life point of view in adulthood. The age of onset of idiopathic scoliosis does not seem to influence quality of life in adulthood.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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