Patient Education Committee Update
Mark C. Lee, MD
Patient Education Committee Chair
The Patient Education Committee continues to explore the avenues by which effective information regarding scoliosis and spine deformity may be communicated to the parent and child. In the 2018-2019 term, the committee has placed renewed focus on the use of social media and interactive webinars to distribute information that is contained in our printable pamphlets.
Building on the past two years of patient focused webinars, the committee concluded 2018 with a September 17, 2018 webinar entitled “Scoliosis in the Young Child,” moderated by Mark C. Lee, MD and featuring presentations by Michael Vitale, MD, MPH; William Phillips, MD; Nigel Price, MD and Suken Shah, MD. Additional webinars are planned for March 20, 2019 entitled “Life after Surgery for AIS” and, in combination with SOSORT on June 10, 2019, “Bracing for Spine Deformity.” The combined webinars with SOSORT are presented to a European audience, with previous attendance rates of between 150 to 250 patients. A unique and widely appreciated feature of these webinars is the patient interaction feature, where parents and patients may ask questions directly of the panel speakers. We plan to continue running 2-3 webinars a year, one of which will be a co-hosted webinar with SOSORT.
All current and previous webinars have been recorded and uploaded to the SRS website in the Patients and Families section under the Patient Webinar tab. We encourage the SRS membership to direct your patients to the expanding patient education section on the SRS website.
Two new printable brochures have been finalized and are available for download from the SRS website, in the Patients and Families section under the Patient Brochures tab: “Osteoporosis and the Spine” and “FAQs for Surgery for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.” There are a variety of brochures available for purchase from SRS to be distributed to patients.
The committee has also begun to focus on honing the information offered to that which is most desired by families. The committee reorganized and updated the patient FAQ section to make it more relevant. We also plan to add a “New and Emerging Technologies” section, which will house introductions to non-standard approaches to scoliosis management.
Finally, the committee is attempting to change the voice by which information is delivered to patients and parents. Basic information about scoliosis may be more effectively communicated by patients to other patients in short video snippets, as opposed to experts in the field who may not have a similar connection to younger patients. The groundwork for such video presentations is being developed.
As always, the committee welcomes additional thoughts on initiatives to better improve patient engagement and education. Please contact Jenifer Heller, SRS staff, via email with your comments and suggestions.
For reference, our social media handles are:
Chair: Mark C. Lee Committee: Sanjeev Suratwala, Past Chair; E. Alexander L’Heureux Jr.; Edward C. Sun; Joseph F. Baker (C); Hongda Bao (C); Christopher Bonfield (C); Ketan S. Khurjekar (C); Sang D. Kim (C); Didik Librianto (C); Kristopher M. Lundine (C); Patrick Shih (C); Caglar Yilgor (C); Marissa M. Muccio (A); Daniele Fabris-Monterumici (E); Evalina L. Burger; Toshiaki Kotani; William A. Phillips, Chair Elect; Joseph P. Davey; Jonathan E. Fuller; Lisa Stringer (A); Joseph P. O'Brien, Advisory