Skip to main content

Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

School based scoliosis screening: an analysis of socio-demographics, compliance, efficacy and a proposed role for physical therapists in a state mandated program

  • 2648 Accesses

Objective

School scoliosis screening programs are mandated across the United States, but their efficacy remains controversial [13]. This study investigates data from the Massachusetts program, examining its efficacy and follow up attained after a positive screen.

Study design

This retrospective cohort study analyzes data for 272,337 students in grades 5–9 from 1989 to 2005 in Massachusetts. Regression and data analyses determined the incidence of scoliosis over the life of the program, its predictive value, specificity and the rate of follow up attained after screening.

Results

The incidence of scoliosis was 0.55%, or 1489 students from 1989 to 2005. The program's positive predictive value was low, at .50%, or 1 confirmed diagnosis per 200 students screened. Children in lower socioeconomic strata were more likely to be identified for possible scoliosis than other students. Girls were identified and diagnosed with scoliosis increasingly over time. Compared to other programs, fewer students per thousand were positively screened for scoliosis in MA, though follow up evaluation was incomplete for 72% of those students.

Conclusion

Sociodemographic factors may influence the identification of students at risk. Methodological issues significantly influence the program's efficacy and ability to meet its goals, including bringing those identified to follow up care.

References

  1. 1.

    Bunnell WP: Selective screening for scoliosis. Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research. 2005, 434: 40-45.

  2. 2.

    Bunge EM, de Koning HJ: Selective screening for scoliosis. Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research. 2006, 445: 277-278.

  3. 3.

    Bunge EM, Juttmann RE, de Koning HJ: Steering Committee of the NESCIO Group. Screening for scoliosis: do we have indications for effectiveness?. Journal of Medical Screening. 2006, 13: 29-33. 10.1258/096914106776179863.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Arsenio Paez.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Paez, A., Lotufo, D. & Wilmarth, M.A. School based scoliosis screening: an analysis of socio-demographics, compliance, efficacy and a proposed role for physical therapists in a state mandated program. Scoliosis 2, S43 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-7161-2-S1-S43

Download citation

Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Data Analysis
  • Cohort Study
  • Screening Program
  • Retrospective Cohort