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Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Jun 15;55(3):373-7.

Development of a tool for early referral of children and adolescents with signs and symptoms suggestive of chronic arthropathy to pediatric rheumatology centers.

Author information

1
Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima 1826 cj 205, São Paulo, SP CEP 01451-001, Brazil. len.cl@terra.com.br

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To develop an easy, time-efficient tool to identify children and adolescents with signs and symptoms suggestive of chronic arthropathies, and to evaluate its interobserver reproducibility and reliability.

METHODS:

The instrument used standardized techniques as required for the development of health-related instruments, targeting parents of apparently healthy children and adolescents ages 1-16 years. A multidisciplinary team was involved in the design of the instrument.

RESULTS:

Each health professional generated 10-15 questions addressing musculoskeletal complaints that they considered to be the most relevant. A total of 60 questions were listed. During the reduction step, each health professional scored questions from 1 to 4 according to the question's relevance. The tool comprised 12 questions and was administered to the parents of 3 groups: patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA; n = 48), children with diffuse musculoskeletal pain (n = 39), and a healthy control group (n = 42). The JIA group achieved the highest scores, followed by the diffuse musculoskeletal pain group and the control group. Nine (18.7%) of 48 patients with JIA and 2 (5.1%) of 39 children with musculoskeletal pain had a score of 5. The interobserver reproducibility was confirmed. All 12 questions were included in the final version of the instrument. We determined that children and adolescents with a score > or =5 should be referred for a rheumatologic evaluation (cluster analysis and logistic regression).

CONCLUSION:

Our questionnaire seems to be a useful tool for the early detection of musculoskeletal problems in children that may need a referral for a rheumatologic evaluation.

PMID:
16739205
DOI:
10.1002/art.21983
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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