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Acceptability and practicality of pGALS in screening for rheumatic disease in Malawian children

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Helen Foster



The pGALS (paediatric Gait, Arms, Legs, Spine) Musculoskeletal (MSK) screen is validated in English-speaking school-aged children and has been shown to be useful in acute paediatric practice in the UK. The aim of this study is to evaluate the practicality and acceptability of pGALS in children in an acute hospital setting in Malawi. School-aged inpatients and children presenting to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Blantyre, Malawi, participated. Practicality (time taken, degree of completion) and patient/parent assessed acceptability (time take, discomfort) were assessed using a 'smiley face' visual analogue scale. Fifty-one children (median age 8 years) were assessed; 23 out of 51 (45%) in the emergency department and the remainder were inpatients. Most presentations were infection or trauma related (n035, 69%). Practicality of pGALS was good [median time to complete pGALS-4 min (range 1.8-7.4)] and completed in 48 out of 51 children (94%). Acceptability was high; 98% of parents considered the time taken to be acceptable, 84% of children deemed little/no additional discomfort. Abnormalities using pGALS were found in 21 out of 51 (41%), mostly in the lower limbs. The pGALS MSK screen was practical and acceptable in this acute setting. Abnormal findings were common.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith E, Molyneux E, Heikens GT, Foster H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Rheumatology

Year: 2012

Volume: 31

Issue: 4

Pages: 647-653

Print publication date: 20/12/2011

Date deposited: 12/09/2012

ISSN (print): 0770-3198

ISSN (electronic): 1434-9949

Publisher: Springer UK


DOI: 10.1007/s10067-011-1901-4


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