Adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis and their parents have a positive attitude towards the Thermobrace monitor: results from a survey

Scoliosis Spinal Disord. 2017 Apr 8;12:12. doi: 10.1186/s13013-017-0119-x. eCollection 2017.


Background: A temperature monitor is used to objectively measure brace wear time in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The reliability of this device have been demonstrated, and some specialists introduced the use of a compliance monitor as a standard of care in everyday clinical practice, as we did since 2010 with the Thermobrace (TB). The attitude towards these objective monitors has never been investigated. The present study aims to investigate the attitude of parents and patients towards the use of temperature sensors for measuring brace wear compliance.

Methods: Three hundred one consecutive girls and 63 boys and their parents have been interviewed. The inclusion criteria were as follows: brace wear full-time prescription at first visit and at least one visit with download and discussion of TB data. Usefulness, acceptability, reliability, and feeling related to data download were the investigated domains. Patients were invited by the administrative staff to complete anonymously the questionnaire. The European Commission was informed about the present survey and approved it (ICT-37-2015-1). Descriptive statistic was used to present the results.

Results: Among the 364 invited patients and parents, 336 adhered by completing it (rate of responders was 93.2%). The mean age was 14.65 (SD 2.36), the mean Cobb angle was 34.18 (SD 13.57), and the average brace wear prescription was 21.76 h per day (SD 2.53). We did not ask parents about their age, profession, nor other personal data. Globally, the interviewed patients and parents showed a very positive attitude towards the TB monitor: the mean rate of parents stating a completely or at least partially positive attitude towards this electronic device was 94.0% while among patients, it was 85.6%.

Conclusions: This is the first study investigating the attitude of parents and patients towards a brace wear compliance monitor. People who experienced this objective monitoring are aware of the advantages related to it and support its usefulness not only for clinicians but also for patients and parents to respect the hours prescribed without any affection on the children and parents or the patient-physician relationship. The present results should encourage the spread of these tools in daily clinical practice.

Keywords: Brace; Compliance monitor; Scoliosis.