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September 1970

Coping With a Chronic Disability: Psychosocial Observations of Girls With Scoliosis Treated With the Milwaukee Brace

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY
From the departments of pediatrics (Drs. Myers and Friedman) and psychiatry (Drs. Myers, Friedman, and Weiner), University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY.

Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(3):175-181. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100080059001

The adjustment to wearing a Milwaukee brace for scoliosis was studied in 26 girls and their mothers. Sixteen girls were able to adjust well after an initially difficult period, seven had behavioral symptoms which interfered with their adaptation, and two refused to wear the brace. The frequency of problems is probably due to 6 of 25 girls being referred because of management difficulty. Factors contributing positively to coping included intellectual understanding of scoliosis and bracing, optimistic view of outcome, active decision to wear brace, and support of family and medical staff. Negative factors included poor intellectual understanding, denial of deformity, conflicts between mother and daughter, family problems, and long duration for the brace. There were no significant associations between the girls' adjustment to the Milwaukee brace and indications of distorted body imagery on projective testing.

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