017. Evaluating the Prevalence of Psychiatric Comorbidities Associated with Pediatric Scoliosis Utilizing ResearchMatch

Authors: Jeffrey Chen

Pediatric scoliosis diagnosis increases the subsequent risk of developing psychiatric comorbidities. The goal of this study is to characterize the self-reported psychological impact of scoliosis diagnosis among pediatric patients.Methods: This online-survey study was distributed to eligible patients using ResearchMatch, an online survey platform connecting academic institutions across the United States. The survey collected patient demographics, type of scoliosis, scoliosis treatment received, and the prevalence of mental health diagnoses and intervention.
Nearly all (98%) of the one-hundred sixty-two respondents were patients themselves, the majority of whom were female (93%), Caucasian (85%), and diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis (63%). The median age of diagnosis was 13 (IQR 11-18). The median income range was $50,000 - $74,999 and privately insured (59%). Most respondents had mild to moderate scoliosis (65%) and 17% received surgical treatment. 76 of 158 (48%) responded that scoliosis affected their overall mental health, and 92 (58%) had received a mental health diagnosis- many of which were (76%) newly diagnosed after their scoliosis diagnosis. Of the 92, 76 (83%) had clinical depression, 31 (34%) had adjustment disorder, 65 (71%) had anxiety, 12 (13%) had eating disorders, and 57 (62%) had negative body image. Over 80% of patients received medical treatment or therapy for these conditions, with nearly all depressed patients receiving treatment (99%). For depression, 38.4% received counseling, 12.3% received behavioral therapy, and 45.2% received medication. Half (52%) of the respondents also had immediate family members with mental health diagnoses, with siblings (48%) having the highest rate.
Scoliosis can increase the risk of psychological comorbidities – from this study nearly half of respondents noted scoliosis impacted their mental health, with notably high rates of depression, anxiety, and negative body-image that required treatment. These findings highlight the importance for the awareness of the psychiatric impact of scoliosis among pediatric patients.