Psychometric evaluation of spinal assessment methods to screen for scoliosis in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy
2015 (English)In: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, ISSN 1471-2474, E-ISSN 1471-2474, Vol. 16, 351Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Background: In cerebral palsy (CP) there is an increased risk of scoliosis. It is important to identify a progressive scoliosis early-on because the results of surgery depend on the magnitude of the curve. The Swedish follow-up program for cerebral palsy (CPUP) includes clinical examinations of the spine. The reliability and validity of the assessment method have not been studied. In this study we evaluate the interrater reliability of the clinical spinal examination used in CPUP and scoliometer measurement in children with CP and we evaluate their validity compared to radiographic examination. Methods: Twenty-eight children (6-16 years) with CP in Gross Motor Function Classification System levels II-V were included. Clinical spinal examinations and scoliometer measurements in sitting position were performed by three independent examiners. The results were compared to the Cobb angle as determined by radiographic measurement. Interrater reliability was calculated using weighted kappa. Concurrent validity was analyzed using the Cobb angle as gold standard. Sensitivity, specificity, area under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) and likelihood ratios (LR) were calculated. Cut-off values for scoliosis were set to >= 20 degrees Cobb angle and >= 7 degrees scoliometer angle. Results: There was an excellent interrater reliability for both clinical examination (weighted kappa = 0.96) and scoliometer measurement (weighted kappa = 0.86). The clinical examination showed a sensitivity of 75 % (95 % CI: 19.4-99.4 %), specificity of 95.8 % (95 % CI: 78.9-99.9 %) and an AUC of 0.85 (95 % CI: 0.61-1.00). The positive LR was 18 and the negative LR was 0.3. The scoliometer measurement showed a sensitivity of 50 % (95 % CI: 6.8-93.2 %), specificity of 91.7 % (95 % CI: 73.0-99.0 %) and AUC of 0.71 (95 % CI: 0.42-0.99). The positive LR was 6 and the negative LR was 0.5. Conclusion: The psychometric evaluation of the clinical examination showed an excellent interrater reliability and a high concurrent validity compared to the Cobb angle. The findings should be interpreted cautiously until research with larger samples may further quantify the psychometric properties. Clinical spinal examinations seem appropriate as a screening tool to identify scoliosis in children with CP.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 16, 351
Cerebral palsy, Scoliosis, Reliability, Validity, Examination, Screening, Measurement, Neuromuscular scoliosis, Cobb angle, Psychometric evaluation
Physiotherapy Orthopedics Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268769DOI: 10.1186/s12891-015-0801-1ISI: 000364807500003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-268769DiVA: diva2:882482