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Long-Term Psychological Sequelae of Surgically Versus Nonsurgically Treated Scoliosis.

CLAYSON, DAVID PhD; LUZ-ALTERMAN, STEVEN PhD; CATALETTO, MAURO M. MD; LEVINE, DAVID B. MD

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Abstract

Forty-six female scoliosis patients (21-34 years of age) were tested psychologically 4 or more years following treatment. Twenty-three had been treated by bracing (Group A) and 23 by posterior spinal fusion (Group B). Variables evaluated were: self-esteem, capacity for intimacy, sexual satisfaction, and mental representation of the patient's own body (body image). The prediction that normal controls would show better psychological adjustment than scoliotic women-surgically treated or not-was only partially borne out. Contrary to expectations, both groups of scoliotics showed higher levels of sexual satisfaction than controls. Group B showed a greater need for intimacy and better sexual adjustment, self-esteem, and body image than Group A.

(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.

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