Race, Socioeconomics Impact Preop, Postop Care in Idiopathic Scoliosis

Black patients more likely to miss preop appointments, while those with lower socioeconomic status miss more postop appointments, receive less bracing
Race, Socioeconomics Impact Preop, Postop Care in Idiopathic Scoliosis
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with idiopathic scoliosis who undergo surgery are more likely to miss preoperative appointments, and those with lower socioeconomic status (SES) miss more postoperative appointments, according to a study published online Oct. 23 in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics.

Patrick Thornley, M.D., from Nemours Children's Health in Wilmington, Delaware, and colleagues conducted a review of 421 patients diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis who underwent surgery at a single high-volume pediatric spinal deformity institution between May 2015 and October 2021 to examine the impact of SES, race, and insurance on outcomes.

Overall, most of the patients had private versus public insurance (80 versus 20 percent) and had higher SES. The researchers found that Black patients had a higher likelihood of missing preoperative appointments. More postoperative appointments were missed by those with lower SES, and they received less bracing and fewer second opinions. Fewer brace prescriptions and reduced rates of obtaining second opinions were seen for those who were Black and publicly insured.

"Our results suggest that these patient characteristics have a clear influence on pre- and postoperative care and, most concerningly, on postsurgical outcomes," senior author Suken A. Shah, M.D., also from Nemours Children's Health, said in a statement.

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