Introduction: Teaching patients and families how to initiate use of spinal orthoses is an important facet of clinical practice. Practitioners have different approaches to the weaning process. Unfortunately, we have not had objective data concerning the efficacy of different weaning protocols.
Materials and Methods: Data from temperature loggers mounted in spinal orthoses have been used to evaluate two protocols. Two practitioners with very different approaches to weaning participated. All patients in this cohort were prescribed thoraco-lumbar-sacral orthoses to be worn 22 hours each day. One practitioner advocates a rapid initiation of full-time orthosis wear, within 1 week (fast group, n = 28). The other teaches a more gradual increase in wear time, requiring 2 to 3 weeks (slow group, n = 13).
Results and Conclusions: The data show that differences in the instructions given to patients and families do lead to changes in behavior. The fast group was significantly quicker in reaching 22 hours of wear, averaging 10.6 days, whereas the slow group averaged 18.9 days.