Shoshana J. Fagen, PsyD, is a 2012 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England.

Dissertation Committee

  • Victor Pantesco, EdD (Committee Chair)
  • William Slammon, PhD (Committee Member)
  • David Hamolsky, PsyD (Committee Member)


Adherence, Scoliosis, Adolescent, Compliance, Group Treatment

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Poor treatment adherence is increasingly being recognized as a significant problem in pediatric medicine. For the condition Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, poor adherence rates to the most non-surgical intervention, orthotic bracing, have become a well-established fact. This treatment modality has been correlated with multiple psychosocial areas of difficulty, including low self image, suicidal ideation, feelings of isolation, social discomfort, depression, an external locus of control, increasing risk taking behavior, high levels of stress, anger, fear, shame, and eating disorders. Since the orthotic bracing has been linked to both poor adherence and to psychosocial problems, an intervention is created to increase adherence through the use of psychosocial techniques. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been used successfully to increase treatment adherence in both adult and pediatric patients. Thus, a comprehensive program is put forth that aims to increase bracing adherence by means of a cognitive behavioral intervention. Additionally, methods for studying the psychometric properties of this intervention are proposed.