Early detection of idiopathic scoliosis – analysis of three screening models
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Submission date: 2013-11-19
Final revision date: 2014-05-06
Acceptance date: 2014-05-06
Online publication date: 2015-01-14
Publication date: 2015-10-31
Arch Med Sci 2015;11(5):1058–1064
Introduction: The prevalence of lateral curvatures of the spine ranges from 0.3% to 15.3% in the general population. The aim of the study was to develop and compare three different screening tests for idiopathic scoliosis (IS) with respect to their effectiveness and costs.
Material and methods: The Delphi method was used to assess the efficacy of each screening algorithm in detecting IS in the population. An economic analysis was also performed.
Results: Diagnostic Algorithm 1 for IS comprised a screening examination performed by nurses and a general practitioner (GP) with verification by specialists. The unit cost of carrying out diagnostic work-up for IS in Algorithm 1 was €94 per child. The second algorithm involved the use of the moiré computer method, followed by verification by a specialist. The lower unit cost of €86 per child of diagnostic work-up according to Algorithm 2 was due to fewer stages compared to Algorithm 1. The highest effectiveness with the highest costs were found for the third algorithm, with only one stage, a specialist’s consultation (cost €153 per child).
Conclusions: The number of stages in an algorithm does not correlate positively with its efficacy or cost. The recommended scheme is Algorithm 3, where children are examined by rehabilitation specialists or a physiotherapist using a scoliometer and an inclinometer. The use of the apparently most expensive scheme (Algorithm 3) should result in lowering the costs of treatment of established idiopathic scoliosis and, in the long term, prove to be the most cost-effective solution for the health care system.