Spinal deformity in the adult is a common medical disorder with a significant and measurable impact on health-related quality of life. The ability to measure and quantify patient self-reported health status with disease-specific and general health status measures, and to correlate health status with radiographic and clinical measures of spinal deformity, has enabled significant advances in the assessment of the impact of deformity on our population, and in the evaluation and management of spinal deformity using an evidence-based approach. There has been a significant paradigm shift in the evaluation and management of patients with adult deformity. The paradigm shift includes development of validated, disease-specific measures of health status, recognition of deformity in the sagittal plane as a primary determinant of health status, and information on results of operative and medical/interventional management strategies for adults with spinal deformity. Since its inception in 1966, the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) has been an international catalyst for improving the research and care for patients of all ages with spinal deformity. The SRS Adult Spinal Deformity Committee serves the mission of developing and defining an evidence-based approach to the evaluation and management of adult spinal deformity. The purpose of this overview from the SRS Adult Deformity Committee is to provide current information on the epidemiology and impact of adult deformity, and to provide patients, physicians, and policy makers a guide to the evidence-based evaluation and management of patients with adult deformity.