Author(s): Lillicrap MS, Byrne E, Speed CA
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess the extent of musculoskeletal assessment (history and examination) amongst medical in-patients and to determine the effects that GALS (gait, arms, legs, spine) teaching has had on this. METHODS: General medical in-patients were interviewed and examined. Case notes were reviewed to determine diagnoses and assess documentation of clinical signs and/or symptoms. Doctors were interviewed to determine whether they had been taught the GALS locomotor screen, assess their confidence in examining the musculoskeletal system and explore their attitudes to musculoskeletal problems. RESULTS: The presence or absence of locomotor symptoms was recorded in 50\% of the 100 patients, whilst signs were recorded in 20\%; 63\% of all the patients had locomotor symptoms and/or signs. Relevant musculoskeletal history was missed in 49\% of the patients, whilst signs were missed in 78\%; 42\% of those with musculoskeletal conditions would have benefited from additional treatment. Teaching of the GALS screen significantly increased doctors' confidence in examination of the locomotor system. CONCLUSIONS: Active musculoskeletal problems are seen frequently amongst medical in-patients. There is a significant discrepancy between the number of patients with clinical symptoms and signs and the frequency with which they are detected and treated.
This article was published in Rheumatology (Oxford)
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research