Amy Ka Po Cheung, Charlie Chiu Yi Lau, Meanne Ching Man Chan, Kenny Yat Hong Kwan

August 2021, pp 1 - 8 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-06943-9

First Online: 02 August 2021


Little is known about patients’ understanding of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). This paper aims to develop and validate the Scoliosis Misconception Scale (SMS) and to explore patients’ level of misconception about AIS.


A total of 195 patients who were newly referred with newly diagnosed AIS were recruited to assess their levels of misconception and psychological distress before and after their first consultation with a specialist. The 17-item SMS was administered to assess patients’ level of misconception about AIS and the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) was used to measure their level of distress.


According to the Item Response Theory, all items were within the acceptable range from -3.69 to 2.39 for difficulty parameters, which determined the difficulty of the scale, while most of the items were within the acceptable range from 0.11 to 1.54 for the discrimination parameters, which determined the rate at which the probability of endorsing a correct item changes given ability levels. Internal consistency by marginal reliability was 0.66. One-sample t test revealed that participants on average scored 6.79 (SD = 2.12) before the first clinic session and 6.45 (SD = 2.51) after the first clinic session, both significantly higher than 0 [t(75) = 27.86, p


Despite a longstanding clinical model that functions well to treat AIS, most patients still have significant misconceptions about the condition. This highlights the necessity to assess patients’ knowledge level of a medical condition and potential generalisability of misconception–distress link to the forefront across other illnesses.

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