Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2012 , Vol 58 , Num 2

Prevalence of Scoliosis among Primary School Children Aged 12--14 Years Living in a Town in Western Turkey

Yakup Uğur İbişoğlu 1 ,Funda Atamaz Çalış 1 ,Arzu Yağız On 2
1 Ege Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, İzmir, Türkiye
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/tftr.98704

Objective: To find out the prevalence of scoliosis in 12-14 years old children attending to primary schools in the town of Bornova, Izmir, Turkey, to render possible the early diagnosis of scoliosis and to create a database for our department.


Metarials and Methods: This is an observational, descriptive cross-sectional survey study. Since previous trials have found the prevalence of scoliosis between 0.2% and 3%, we had to screen 80% of sample size to make a survey in 0.5% margin of error and 95% confidence interval. Thus we screened the whole study sample, including 8207 students in 57 elementary schools. Adam’s forward bending test, palpation of vertebra and observational gait analyses were performed and asymmetry was evaluated. In case of suspicion of scoliosis, scoliometer measurements were evaluated to confirm the diagnosis. Cobb angles, localization of the curves and their directions were recorded.


Results: Adam’s forward bending test was positive in 40 students. Scoliosis was confirmed radiographically in all of them. Thus the prevalence of scoliosis was found to be 0.48%. The prevalence rate was 0.77% in girls and 0.2% in boys. It was 3.4 times more common in girls than in boys. Cobb angle values were between 5° and 40° with a mean value of 10.8°. Although the mean Cobb angle was higher in girls than in boys and the students with high grade scoliosis were all girls, the difference was not statistically significant (p= 0.924). Parents of the students whose Cobb angle were low were unaware of the condition.


Conclusion: Consistent with the literature we observed a wide range of prevalence of scoliosis. Scoliosis was more common and severe in girls than in boys. The finding that parents were unaware of low-grade scoliosis supports the importance of school surveys in early diagnosis. Multicentric analytic studies with larger sample size are needed in our country. 

Keywords : Scoliosis, school survey, prevalence, early diagnosis, Adam’s test