An individual's body awareness depends on the integration of bodily signals from both inside and outside the body. The etiology of idiopathic scoliosis includes a variety of somatosensorial and biomechanical alterations that may affect an individual's body awareness. In this study, we investigated body awareness and its relation to quality of life among individuals with idiopathic scoliosis. We studied 96 participants with scoliosis and 71 healthy control participants. We evaluated both participant groups' body awareness using the Awareness-Body-Chart, and we assessed the quality of life of those with scoliosis using the Scoliosis Research Society-22 (SRS-22) questionnaire. The overall body awareness score and the body awareness values for the face, cervical/lumbar region, back, shoulder, upper arm, lower arm/elbow, hand, genital area, thigh/hip, lower leg, and foot were all found to be significantly lower among the participants with scoliosis than among healthy participants. Among participants with scoliosis, the body awareness value for the back region was positively correlated with pain, body image, mental health, and overall quality of life scores on the SRS-22, whereas the pain score on the Awareness-Body-Chart was negatively correlated with the function/activity, pain, mental health, and overall scores for the SRS-22. This study showed that participants with idiopathic scoliosis have poorer body awareness than control participants without scoliosis, and body awareness among participants with scoliosis was correlated with their self-reports of pain, body image, function, and mental health. These findings highlight the particular importance of body awareness to quality of life for individuals with scoliosis.
Keywords: body awareness; body image; quality of life; scoliosis.