The criteria for evaluation of aesthetics in scoliosis

Our study “Construct validity of the Trunk Aesthetic Clinical Evaluation (TRACE) in young people with idiopathic scoliosis” has recently been published by the journal Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

The aim of this study? Scientifically validate the criteria of evaluation of aesthetics in scoliosis.

Indeed, we recall that aesthetics is recognized as a main outcome in idiopathic scoliosis (IS) treatment, but to date, there are no standard criteria for physicians’ evaluation.

Trunk Aesthetic Clinical Evaluation (TRACE) is a simple 12-point ordinal scale to quantify symmetry as a proxy of aesthetics. TRACE is already diffused worldwide and has been used in clinical research.

” In our study, that included 1553 participants (1334 females, mean age 13 years old), we aimed to validate TRACE and improve it with Rasch analysis – explains prof. Stefano Negrini, Scientific Director of Isico – the statistical technique allows to make more precise measurements.
Let’s take the temperature measurement as an example: is it hot, warm, medium, or a little cold? With this type of analysis we develop a real thermometer, obtaining a numerical data. The same criterion is applied to the measurement of the aesthetics, reliably and effectively, as well as objective because it derives from external observation and not simply from what the patient reports “.

The TRACE ordinal scale has been converted into a Rasch-consistent, interval-level measure of trunk aesthetics in IS patients and can be used to compare different populations.

TRACE can be used as an outcome measure and in everyday clinical evaluation of IS, even if new developments of the scale are advised – ends prof. Negrini – It is an objective tool, the only one up to now in the literature. The benchmark for the aesthetics in scoliosis which we want to improve more and more with use”