Behavioral method for the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis.

B. Dworkin, N. E. Miller, S. Dworkin, N. Birbaumer, M. L. Brines, S. Jonas, E. P. Schwentker, J. J. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Idiopathic scoliosis was treated by an automated portable posture-training device that incorporated precise behavioral principles and enabled therapeutic training to be given in the patients' normal environment throughout the entire day. Twenty-one patient-years of training were completed with a group of 12 adolescent girls selected as being imminently likely to require a brace because of the way their spinal curves had been progressing. As an alternative to conventional brace therapy, patients found the posture-training device considerably less physically restraining and more cosmetically acceptable. Most patients wore it 23 hr per day for at least 1 year and adapted well to the constant physical and psychological presence of the instrument. For 10 patients, the outcome was entirely successful; they were discharged from this pilot study as satisfactorily corrected. Progression of the scoliotic curve was arrested; in fact, there was an average slight improvement in the Cobb angle (a measure of spinal curvature) as measured by x-ray radiography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2493-2497
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics


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