Not Enough Evidence on Benefits, Harms of Routine Scoliosis Screening for Children and Adolescents



Media advisory: To contact the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, email the Media Coordinator at or call 202-572-2044. The full report is available on the For The Media website.

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Bottom Line: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cannot assess the effectiveness of routine screening of children and adolescents for scoliosis because the evidence available in the medical literature on the benefits and harms of scoliosis screening is unclear.

Background: The USPSTF routinely makes recommendation statements about the effectiveness of preventive care services. This one on screening for idiopathic scoliosis, a common form of curvature of the spine whose cause is unknown, is an update from 2004 when the USPSTF concluded the harms of screening outweighed potential benefits.



Related material

The following related elements from The JAMA Network are also available on the For The Media website:

— Screening for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis – Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force

— JAMA editorial: Evolving Recommendations for Scoliosis Screening – A Compelling Need for Further Research

— JAMA Pediatrics editorial: Early Detection of Scoliosis—What the USPSTF “I” Means for Us

— JAMA Patient Page: Screening for Scoliosis in Adolescents

For more details and to read the full report, please visit the For The Media website.


Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Note: More information about the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, its process, and its recommendations can be found on the newsroom page of its website.

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