PURPOSE: To report how youths, both with and without idiopathic scoliosis (IS), respond to questions about their self-image and perceptions of body shape. An additional purpose is to describe themes that emerged as important to youths with IS to better understand scoliosis from their perspective.
METHODS: Descriptive qualitative and quantitative methods were utilized. Subject interviews were conducted, as part of a larger cognitive interviewing study on the Spinal Appearance Questionnaire, using a cross-sectional sample of 76 females between 8 and 16 years of age with IS and who were typically developing (TD), without scoliosis.
RESULTS: IS and TD subjects revealed similar findings when asked what makes them look good versus their peers; self-image ratings were also positive. Predominant themes from open-ended responses include physical appearance, feelings, brace wear, and discomfort.
CONCLUSION: Self-image and body shape did not differ significantly between groups. The identified themes warrant further exploration as they are significant and important to youth with scoliosis.
Lisa Merenda, MSN, RN, CCRC, CRRN, Clinical Research Nurse, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia, PA.
Kimberly Costello, BSN, RN, Clinical Research Nurse, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia, PA.
Anna Marie Santangelo, BSN, RN, Clinical Research Nurse, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia, PA.
Mary Jane Mulcahey, PhD, Director, Clinical and Outcomes Research, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia, PA.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.