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January 18, 1995

Screening for Scoliosis-Reply

Author Affiliations

US Preventive Services Task Force Washington, DC

JAMA. 1995;273(3):186. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520270019018

In Reply.  —We appreciate the interest of Dr Winter and colleagues in the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations on screening for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. As outlined in our article,1 recommendations to screen for scoliosis are based on a series of premises, including the assumptions that screening tests can accurately detect scoliosis, that cases detected through screening are likely to progress, that persons with scoliosis experience greater morbidity than persons without scoliosis, that available treatment modalities are effective, and that the benefits of screening outweigh the harms. Our review of the literature in 1993 found weak or conflicting evidence for each of these assumptions,2 forcing us to conclude that there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.Winter et al call attention to two recently completed studies on the effectiveness of brace therapy. As of this writing, neither the methods nor the

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