The impact of scoliosis detection circumstances on the referral patterns in orthopaedics
© Beauséjour et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Published: 10 September 2010
The literature on efficiency of school scoliosis screening programs (SSSP) discusses the potential benefit of the awareness of health professionals and parents for early detection of scoliosis, as an alternative to mass screening of school children, for proper management of scoliosis patients. This hypothesis was examined in a community without SSSP by analyzing the impact of the professional status of the person involved in scoliosis detection on the appropriateness of referral.
Materials and methods
345 consecutive patients referred to an orthopaedist for suspected scoliosis at a major hospital in Canada were interviewed to characterize the originator of the detection of their scoliosis: Lay person (family/patient), Allied health (physical therapist, chiropractor, osteopath, sport instructor), General practitioner, and Specialist. Patients were then classified according to the timing of their referral.
Results and discussion
Association between the professional status and appropriateness of referral.
The professional status of persons involved in scoliosis detection has an impact on the appropriateness of referral. In consequence, increased awareness of scoliosis detection methods by persons involved in child health may favour appropriateness of referral. Guidelines dissemination may be useful to decrease over-referral and improve referral timing in absence of school scoliosis screening programs.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.