Attitudes regarding non-operative treatment for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) may be changing with the publication of BRAiST. Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercises (PSSE) are used to treat AIS, but high-quality evidence is limited. The purpose of this study is to assess the attitudes of members of the Scoliosis Research Society towards PSSE.
A survey was sent to all SRS members with questions on use of Physical Therapy (PT) and PSSE for AIS.
The majority of the 263 respondents were from North America (175, 67 %), followed by Asia (37, 14 %) and Europe (36, 14 %). The majority of respondents (166, 63 %) prescribed neither PT nor PSSE, 28 (11 %) prescribed both PT and PSSE, 39 (15 %) prescribe PT only and 30 (11 %) prescribe PSSE only. PT was prescribed by 67 respondents, as an adjunct to bracing (39) and in small curves (32); with goals to improve aesthetics (27) and post-operative outcomes (25). Of the 196 who do not prescribe PT, the main reasons were lack of evidence (149) and the perception that PT had no value (112). PSSE was prescribed by 58 respondents. The most common indication was as an adjunct to bracing (49) or small curves (41); with goals to improve aesthetics (36), prevent curve progression (35) and improve quality of life (31). Of the respondents who do not prescribe PSSE, the main reasons were lack of supporting research (149), a perception that PSSE had no value (108), and lack of access (63). Most respondents state that evidence of efficacy may increase the role of PSSE, with 85 % (223 of 263) favoring funding PSSE studies by the SRS.
The results show that 22 % of the respondents use PSSE for AIS, skepticism remains regarding the benefit of PSSE for AIS. Support for SRS funded research suggests belief that there is potential benefit from PSSE and the best way to assess that potential is through evidence development.