This chapter details a mixed-methods investigation of the experiences and effectiveness of a soft brace for adults with degenerative scoliosis. Study 1 explored patients’ experiences of living with scoliosis, together with the pain and quality of life they experienced as a result of scoliosis. The secondary aims of the qualitative aspect of the study were to explore patient perceptions of wearing the soft brace together with the overall functionality and practicalities of the brace design. We found the main experiences of living with scoliosis in people over 50 were one of constant pain and limited activity. The interviews also identified the benefits of wearing the brace along with design issues associated with the comfort and practicalities of wearing the brace. Study 2 investigated the quantitative effects the brace had on adults with degenerative scoliosis. The quantitative questionnaire results were compared with those from the control group who did not receive the brace. Overall, we found that patients in interviews reported improvements in their quality of life, although these improvements were not reflected in the quantitative results. Implications of our findings for the treatment of adults with scoliosis by bracing, and directions for future work are discussed.
Part of the book: Spinal Deformities in Adolescents, Adults and Older Adults