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This Week in JAMA
October 20, 1999

This Week in JAMA

JAMA. 1999;282(15):1401. doi:10.1001/jama.282.15.1401

School-based screening programs for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis are mandated in 26 US states and are supported by state or local agencies in other areas, even though evidence of effectiveness is lacking. In this evaluation of a community-wide school-based scoliosis screening program, Yawn and colleagues foundArticle that among 2242 children screened in grades 5 through 9 and followed up until age 19 years, the screening program identified 5 of 9 children who were treated for scoliosis and referred 87 others who were not treated. The sensitivity of the screening program for the identification of treated scoliosis was 0.56, the positive predictive value was 0.05, and the number needed to screen to identify a child with treated scoliosis was 448. In an editorialArticle, Higginson details the steps involved in a reevaluation of state-funded or -mandated scoliosis screening programs.