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Active Treatment for Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis (ACTIvATeS): a feasibility study

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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (86th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (65th percentile)

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16 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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Active Treatment for Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis (ACTIvATeS): a feasibility study
Published by
Health technology assessment : HTA / NHS R & D HTA Programme., July 2015
DOI 10.3310/hta19550
Pubmed ID

Mark A Williams, Peter J Heine, Esther M Williamson, Francine Toye, Melina Dritsaki, Stavros Petrou, Richard Crossman, Ranjit Lall, Karen L Barker, Jeremy Fairbank, Ian Harding, Adrian Gardner, Anne-Marie Slowther, Neil Coulson, Sarah E Lamb


The feasibility of conducting a definitive randomised controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of scoliosis-specific exercises (SSEs) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is uncertain. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of conducting a large, multicentre trial of SSE treatment for patients with AIS, in comparison with standard care, and to refine elements of the study design. The objectives were to (1) update a systematic review of controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of SSE in AIS; (2) survey UK orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists to determine current practice, patient populations and equipoise; (3) randomise 50 adolescents to a feasibility trial of either usual care or SSE interventions across a range of sites; (4) develop, document and assess acceptability and adherence of interventions; (5) assess and describe training requirements of physiotherapists; and (6) gain user input in all relevant stages of treatment and protocol design. Multicomponent feasibility study including UK clinician survey, systematic literature review and a randomised feasibility trial. The randomised feasibility study involved four secondary care NHS trusts providing specialist care for patients with AIS. The randomised feasibility study recruited people aged 10-16 years with mild AIS (Cobb angle of < 50°). The randomised study allocated participants to standard practice of advice and education or a physiotherapy SSE programme supported by a home exercise plan. Our choice of intervention was informed by a systematic review of exercise interventions for AIS. The main outcome was feasibility of recruitment to the randomised study. Other elements were to inform choice of outcomes for a definitive trial and included curve severity, quality of life, requirement for surgery/brace, adverse events, psychological symptoms, costs and health utilities. A UK survey of orthopaedic consultants and physiotherapists indicated a wide variation in current provision of exercise therapy through physiotherapy services. It also found that clinicians from at least 15 centres would be willing to have their patients involved in a full study. A systematic review update found five new studies that were generally of low quality but showed some promise of effectiveness of SSE. The randomised study recruited 58 patients from four NHS trusts over 11 months and exceeded the pre-specified target recruitment rate of 1.4 participants per centre per month, with acceptable 6-month follow-up (currently 73%). Adherence to treatment was variable (56% of participants completed treatment offered). The qualitative study found the exercise programme to be highly acceptable. We learnt important lessons from patient and public involvement during the study in terms of study and intervention presentation, as well as practical elements such as scheduling of intervention sessions. A definitive RCT evaluating clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of SSE for idiopathic scoliosis is warranted and feasible. Such a RCT is a priority for future work in the area. There is a sufficiently large patient base, combined with willingness to be randomised within specialist UK centres. Interventions developed during the feasibility study were acceptable to patients, families and physiotherapists and can be given within the affordability envelope of current levels of physiotherapy commissioning. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN90480705. This project was funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 19, No. 55. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 16 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 145 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Switzerland 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 143 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 24 17%
Student > Master 20 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 19 13%
Student > Bachelor 19 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 15 10%
Other 48 33%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 54 37%
Nursing and Health Professions 40 28%
Unspecified 24 17%
Social Sciences 10 7%
Psychology 5 3%
Other 12 8%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 11. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 15 February 2017.
All research outputs
of 12,535,834 outputs
Outputs from Health technology assessment : HTA / NHS R & D HTA Programme.
of 787 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 234,862 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Health technology assessment : HTA / NHS R & D HTA Programme.
of 26 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,535,834 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 89th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 787 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 9.0. This one has done well, scoring higher than 77% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 234,862 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 26 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 65% of its contemporaries.