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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Braces for idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (85th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

Mentioned by

8 tweeters
8 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page


45 Dimensions

Readers on

259 Mendeley
Braces for idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd006850.pub3
Pubmed ID

Stefano Negrini, Silvia Minozzi, Josette Bettany-Saltikov, Nachiappan Chockalingam, Theodoros B. Grivas, Tomasz Kotwicki, Toru Maruyama, Michele Romano, Fabio Zaina


Idiopathic scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformity of the spine. The most common form is diagnosed in adolescence. While adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) can progress during growth and cause a surface deformity, it is usually not symptomatic. However, in adulthood, if the final spinal curvature surpasses a certain critical threshold, the risk of health problems and curve progression is increased. To evaluate the efficacy of bracing for adolescents with AIS versus no treatment or other treatments, on quality of life, disability, pulmonary disorders, progression of the curve, and psychological and cosmetic issues. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, five other databases, and two trials registers up to February 2015 for relevant clinical trials. We also checked the reference lists of relevant articles and conducted an extensive handsearch of grey literature. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective controlled cohort studies comparing braces with no treatment, other treatment, surgery, and different types of braces for adolescent with AIS. We used standard methodological procedures expected by The Cochrane Collaboration. We included seven studies (662 participants). Five were planned as RCTs and two as prospective controlled trials. One RCT failed completely, another was continued as an observational study, reporting also the results of the participants that had been randomized.There was very low quality evidence from one small RCT (111 participants) that quality of life (QoL) during treatment did not differ significantly between rigid bracing and observation (mean difference (MD) -2.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) -7.69 to 3.49). There was very low quality evidence from a subgroup of 77 adolescents from one prospective cohort study showing that QoL, back pain, psychological, and cosmetic issues did not differ significantly between rigid bracing and observation in the long term (16 years).Results of the secondary outcomes showed that there was low quality evidence that rigid bracing compared with observation significantly increased the success rate in 20° to 40° curves at two years' follow-up (one RCT, 116 participants; risk ratio (RR) 1.79, 95% CI 1.29 to 2.50). There was low quality evidence that elastic bracing increased the success rate in 15° to 30° curves at three years' follow-up (one RCT, 47 participants; RR 1.88, 95% CI 1.11 to 3.20).There is very low quality evidence from two prospective cohort studies with a control group that rigid bracing increases the success rate (curves not evolving to 50° or above) at two years' follow-up (one study, 242 participants; RR 1.50, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.89) and at three years' follow-up (one study, 240 participants; RR 1.75, 95% CI 1.42 to 2.16). There was very low quality evidence from a prospective cohort study (57 participants) that very rigid bracing increased the success rate (no progression of 5° or more, fusion, or waiting list for fusion) in adolescents with high degree curves (above 45°) (one study, 57 adolescents; RR 1.79, 95% CI 1.04 to 3.07 in the intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis).There was low quality evidence from one RCT that a rigid brace was more successful than an elastic brace at curbing curve progression when measured in Cobb degrees in low degree curves (20° to 30°), with no significant differences between the two groups in the subjective perception of daily difficulties associated with wearing the brace (43 girls; risk of success at four years' follow-up: RR 1.40, 1.03 to 1.89). Finally, there was very low quality evidence from one RCT (12 participants) that a rigid brace with a pad pressure control system is no better than a standard brace in reducing the risk of progression.Only one prospective cohort study (236 participants) assessed adverse events: neither the percentage of adolescents with any adverse event (RR 1.27, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.67) nor the percentage of adolescents reporting back pain, the most common adverse event, were different between the groups (RR 0.72, 95% CI 0.47 to 1.10). Due to the important clinical differences among the studies, it was not possible to perform a meta-analysis. Two studies showed that bracing did not change QoL during treatment (low quality), and QoL, back pain, and psychological and cosmetic issues in the long term (16 years) (very low quality). All included papers consistently showed that bracing prevented curve progression (secondary outcome). However, due to the strength of evidence (from low to very low quality), further research is very likely to have an impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect. The high rate of failure of RCTs demonstrates the huge difficulties in performing RCTs in a field where parents reject randomization of their children. This challenge may prevent us from seeing increases in the quality of the evidence over time. Other designs need to be implemented and included in future reviews, including 'expertise-based' trials, prospective controlled cohort studies, prospective studies conducted according to pre-defined criteria such as the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) and the international Society on Scoliosis Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT) criteria. Future studies should increase their focus on participant outcomes, adverse effects, methods to increase compliance, and usefulness of physiotherapeutic scoliosis specific exercises added to bracing.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 8 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 259 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 2 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
South Africa 1 <1%
Unknown 254 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 55 21%
Student > Bachelor 28 11%
Researcher 27 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 24 9%
Other 21 8%
Other 62 24%
Unknown 42 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 80 31%
Nursing and Health Professions 41 16%
Psychology 17 7%
Engineering 12 5%
Social Sciences 11 4%
Other 37 14%
Unknown 61 24%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 11. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 May 2020.
All research outputs
of 19,021,597 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,920 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 241,238 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 254 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,021,597 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 87th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,920 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 26.9. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 57% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 241,238 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 254 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 49th percentile – i.e., 49% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.