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Research Study

Scoliosis Screenings


“A population based study of school scoliosis screening.”

This study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1999 was designed to assess how effective school based screening programs are for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Researchers analysed data on 2,242 subjects who had attended kindergarten or first grade in Rochester, Minnesota between 1979 and 1982. All subjects underwent annual scoliosis screenings in grades 5 through 9.

A total of 92 children were referred for further evaluation, although only 74% of these students received a chiropractic or medical follow-up examination. Altogether, 27 of the students referred for evaluation were diagnosed with scoliosis by age 19. However, only five of these subjects were treated for the disorder.


The study’s authors concluded that in-school scoliosis screening is not effective. They stress that parents and health care practitioners should themselves monitor paediatric patients for signs of scoliosis.

Yawn BP, Yawn RA, Hodge D, Kurland M, Shaughnessy WJ, Ilstrup D, Jacobsen SJ. JAMA 1999; 282(15): 1427-32

    This study suggests school-based scoliosis screenings DO NOT WORK. 

Surely further evidence of the importance of regular chiropractic spinal checkups for children!

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