School Health Scoliosis Referrals: A Descriptive Study of the Diagnosis, Treatment and Follow Up Rate of Scoliosis in Relation to Age, Sex and Ethnicity of Sixth Grade Students in the Rochester City School
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AuthorReddington, Ann K.
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AbstractThis research was designed to assess the effectiveness of a school screening program for scoliosis among 294 sixth grade students in the Rochester City School District during the 1978-1979 school year. Data was collected regarding sex, ethnicity, age, follow up status, diagnosis, and treatment of the referred. More females (172) were referred than males (122). Whites comprised half of the study (135), with Blacks (128) next, followed by Spanish (25), and Orientals (6), respectively. Of the total number referred, only 143, or forty-eight and sixth tenths (48.6) percent, had follow up. This percentage of follow up is quite low, but other studies assessing the effectiveness of school health referrals report similar statistics. Only 52 of those seen by their health care provider actually were diagnosed as having scoliosis. The range of age was from nine to sixteen with forty-eight (48) percent, or 142 students, being 12-13 years old which is the average age of a sixth grader. The mean age was approximately the same in each follow up category and it was concluded that age was not an important variable in this study. A chi-square test was applied to the interrelationship between the sex of the referred and their follow up care to ascertain if one sex tended to seek evaluation more than the other. The hypothesis was rejected as there was a difference in the sexes, males having a greater follow up rate than females. The correlation between the follow up status of the referred and ethnicity was accepted after a chi-square analysis revealed that one ethnic group did not tend to seek follow up care more than any other group. However, percentage distributions indicated a greater no follow up rate in the Black and Puerto Rican ethnic groups. Over half of those seen by their health care provider had a normal diagnosis. The connection between the sex and diagnosis was questioned and statistically there was a relationship between sex of followed up students and diagnosis, females having scoliosis more often than males. Data collected regarding diagnosis of those followed up and their ethnicity demonstrated that ethnic groups did not tend to have one diagnosis more than the other. There was no difference in the treatment of scoliosis between males and females. A Fisher-exact test was used to test the interrelationship between these two variables and the hypothesis was accepted. The last hypothesis inquired as to the connection between ethnic groups and treatment, and when a Fisher-exact test was applied to the data, ethnicity had nothing to do with the prescribed treatment.