The BASIS study


The importance of scoliosis has been recognised by the National Institute for Health Research (the nation’s largest funder of healthcare research). They have funded a study looking at Bracing Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (BASIS) study, which will compare full-time bracing with a night-time only bracing over a period of 10 years. Full-time bracing has strong scientific evidence for reducing the progression of scoliosis, but the brace needs to be worn at least 20 hours a day. Night-time braces are a different type of brace only worn in bed at night but the evidence for their effectiveness is less clear.

We will ask children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (aged 10-15 years) who have not previously received bracing to take part in this study. For those who agree, children will be fairly allocated to one of the two different braces through a process called randomisation. The study needs 780 patients from 19 UK paediatric spinal centres, enrolled over 4 years, starting in September 2021.

The aim is not only to compare the effectiveness of the two braces but also to look at the effects of each brace on quality of life and the patient’s experiences. The child will remain in brace until they have finished growing or need to have surgery. At each hospital appointment (every 6 months) their doctor or nurse will find out how they are doing, x-ray their back and ask them to complete questionnaires. At the end of growth, after the bracing is stopped, there will then be two further clinic visits at one and two years for further x-rays and questionnaires.

So far, two patient groups and an on-line survey of SAUK members have inputted into the study. Members of SAUK are co-investigators in the research and are part of the committees which will guide the study as it progresses. We will be seeking SAUK’s help to design study materials, ensure the study is acceptable to young people and their families and help broadcast the findings of the research. We are also grateful to those who helped choose the study logo – thank you for taking the time to vote.

A website is being developed for the study and will be advertised once it is ready. If you would like to join the patient and parent group helping with this study, please visit:

Ashley Cole

Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon

This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme (NIHR131081). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care

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