SRS Newsletter
June 2012
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Patient Education Committee Update

Christopher Bergin, MD
Patient Education Committee Chair

Christopher Bergin

One of the primary goals of the Scoliosis Research Society is patient education, and we do that in a number of ways. In the past, we relied a great deal on written material. Today, we are increasingly relying on electronic and internet-based media. In the last two years there has been a dramatic overhaul of the SRS website, including the Patient and Family Section, which is where you will find most of the information you would want to give to your patients. The Patient Education Committee oversees all of the content in this section and provides content specifically for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and spondylolisthesis. A comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) was added by our committee two years ago and adopted by the AAOS website as well. As you might imagine, keeping information up-to-date across the Patient/Family section is a never-ending process.

In addition to content created by our numerous committees, SRS is frequently approached by outside organizations to place their information on our website.  The Patient Education Committee is often asked to review these requests and weigh in on the value and appropriateness of the information. A recent case in point is the Harms Study Group (HSG) Handbook, which is a comprehensive guide for patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Working in collaboration with the Presidential Line and the Website Committee, we are proud to announce that the HSG Handbook will soon be available to the public through our website. We want to recognize the value of HSG and the many other non profit organizations that contribute to the care of spinal deformity patients.  A list of these organizations can be found under “Links” of the Patient and Family section.

This year, the Patient Education Committee had a request from B. Stephens Richards, III, MD to create an informed consent module for idiopathic scoliosis surgery. This module will be designed to educate specifically those patients and family considering surgical intervention. The program will describe normal and abnormal anatomy, treatment options, surgical intervention and its risk and complications, as well as what to expect while recovering. Our goal will be to both educate and give strong informed consent. This module will likely serve as a template for other spinal deformity surgical models such as congenital deformity, kyphosis, and spondylolisthesis. We plan on having a preliminary module available by the 47th Annual Meeting in September.

Committee Chair: Christopher Bergin, MD Committee Members: Jay Shapiro, MD; Abdul Rakib Selah Al-Mirah, MD; Ahmad Nassr, MD; Michael C. Albert, MD; Andrew K. Cree, MD;  James T. Guille, MD; D. Raymond Knapp, MD; Toni Cawley, MD; Robert P. Huang, MD; Patricia N. Kostial, MD.