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Acceptability and Practicality of Musculoskeletal Examination in Acute General Pediatric Assessment

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Iain Goff, Dr Belinda Bateman, Dr Andrea Myers, Emerita Professor Helen Foster


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Objective To evaluate the practicality and the acceptability of pGALS (pediatric Gait, Arms, Legs and Spine) screening, a simple pediatric musculoskeletal screening examination, when performed as part of an acute pediatric assessment. Study design Consecutive school-aged children attending an acute pediatric assessment unit were assessed with the addition of pGALS to the routine clinical examination. Practicality (ie, time taken, degree of completion) and patients/parent-assessed acceptability (ie, time taken, discomfort caused) were recorded. Results Fifty consecutive school-aged children (median age 8 years) were evaluated by pGALS. Median time taken was 3 minutes (range 1.2-5.3), and examination was completed in 47/50 (96%) children. Acceptability of pGALS was deemed high: time taken was "about right'' (98% children, 94% parents) and caused no or little discomfort (72% of children, 92% of parents). Abnormalities on pGALS examination were common, with most (17/50, 34%) explained by confirmed musculoskeletal disease, and 6 of 50 (12%) had non-musculoskeletal disease. Conclusions PGALS is practical and acceptable to perform in acute pediatric assessment performed by a non expert in musculoskeletal medicine. Abnormal musculoskeletal findings are common as part of the pGALS examination but need to be interpreted in the global clinical context and assessment. (J Pediatr 2010; 156: 657-62).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Goff I, Bateman B, Myers A, Foster H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Pediatrics

Year: 2010

Volume: 156

Issue: 4

Pages: 657-662

Print publication date: 12/01/2010

ISSN (print): 0022-3476

ISSN (electronic): 1097-6833

Publisher: Mosby


DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.10.047


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