A Review of Quality of Life and Psychosocial Issues in Scoliosis

Tones, Megan J., Moss, Nathan D., & Polly, David W. (2006) A Review of Quality of Life and Psychosocial Issues in Scoliosis. Spine: an international journal for the study of the spine, 31(26), pp. 3027-3038.


Study Design. Recent literature regarding the psychological impact of scoliosis was reviewed.

Objective. To determine the impact of scoliosis on health-related quality of life (HRQL), psychosocial functioning, and body image to improve patient outcomes.

Summary of Background Data. Adolescents and adults with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis have been known to score lower than healthy controls on HRQL measures. However, HRQL instruments may not adequately capture psychological distress experienced by patients.

Methods. Research papers concerning HRQL and psychosocial factors in patients with scoliosis were reviewed.

Results. Studies of psychosocial health and body image have revealed that functioning in these domains may affect compliance behavior and satisfaction with treatment outcomes among adolescent patients. Psychosocial and body image disturbance is less marked in patients with good social or family functioning, or patients who exercise regularly or are psychologically healthy. Adults with scoliosis generally display fewer psychological problems than adolescents. However, adults with scoliosis may experience psychosocial limitations due to poor physical health or body image disturbance. Support group membership can improve psychosocial health in adults with scoliosis.

Conclusions. Adolescent patients with scoliosis may experience psychosocial difficulties, especially while undergoing treatment for scoliosis. Interventions aimed at managing psychosocial or body image disturbances may help to ameliorate the potentially negative impact of scoliosis on these facets of life.

Impact and interest:

58 citations in Scopus
41 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 7733
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: scoliosis, HRQL, psychosocial, body image, disability, psychological intervention, adolescent, adult
ISSN: 0362-2436
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Orthopaedics (110314)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > MEDICAL PHYSIOLOGY (111600) > Medical Physiology not elsewhere classified (111699)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Deposited On: 16 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:23

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