Purpose: To investigate the efficacy of and advocacy for postural screening in public schools.
Methods: The results of postural screenings in 120 primary and secondary schools throughout one representative northeastern U.S. state were analyzed. Nurses were asked how many students were screened and how many students were diagnostically confirmed to have a postural concern. In addition, the nurses answered advocacy questions regarding continuation, value, and cost of the postural screening program. Chi-square analyses were performed on the nurse responses.
Results: Of the average 437 students screened, approximately 1% screens were confirmed diagnostically. School nurses believed that postural screening should be continued (χ2 = 11.904, p < .001), that it was a valuable program (χ2 = 28.00, p < .001), and that it was at a reasonable cost for their school system (χ2 = 42.68, p < .011).
Conclusion: There is poor efficacy for a postural screening program in public schools; only a very small percentage of students are diagnostically identified. However, a statistically significant number of nurses surveyed advocated for continuation of the postural screening program, reported that it was a valuable health screen, and believed that it was at a reasonable cost for their school district.
Julie A. Magee, PT, DSc, PCS, Associate Professor, American International College, Springfield, MA.
Diana M. Kenney, PT, DPT, PCS, Associate Professor and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education, American International College, Springfield, MA.
Elizabeth Mullin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, William Paterson College, Wayne, NJ.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.