Public Health and Primary CareORIGINAL ARTICLE

A novel movement system screen for primary care providers: a multisite, observational study

Christine Kettle, DPT; Lauren McKay, DO; Anthony M. Cianciolo, DO; Stephen M. Kareha, DPT, ATC, PhD; and Cara E. Ruggeri, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: July 17, 2021

Accepted: November 8, 2021

Published: January 10, 2022

  • Christine Kettle, DPT, 

    Physical Therapy at St. Luke’s, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Allentown, PA, USA

  • Lauren McKay, DO, 

    Department of Internal Medicine, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Bethlehem, PA, USA

  • Anthony M. Cianciolo, DO, 

    Internal Medicine, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Bethlehem, PA, USA

  • Stephen M. Kareha, DPT, ATC, PhD, 

    Department of Physical Therapy, DeSales University, Center Valley, PA, USA

  • Cara E. Ruggeri, DO, 

    Clinical Associate Professor (Adjunct), Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

J Osteopath Med; 122(3): 159-166

Context: Movement of the human body is essential for the interaction of an individual within their environment and contributes to both physical and emotional quality of life. Movement system disorders (MSDs) are kinesiopathologic conditions that result from either altered movement patterns, trauma, or pathology. A screening tool may facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment of acute MSDs. This tool could prevent progression to chronic conditions, leading to better patient outcomes and quality of life.

Objectives: Our study evaluated whether a screening tool would be able to accurately screen individuals for MSDs, explore comorbidities that may predict the prevalence of MSDs, and identify why people do not discuss these problems with their primary care provider (PCP).

Methods: A multisite, observational study in a primary care setting. Data were analyzed to determine the psychometric properties of the screening question. Logistic regression was performed to explore the relationship of comorbidities with MSDs. Thematic analysis was performed to explore why patients do not discuss these issues with their PCP.

Results: The point prevalence of MSDs was determined to be 78%. The sensitivity of the screening question was determined to be good (70%). Arthritis, obesity, sleep disorders, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) were significant predictors for an MSD. Thematic analysis regarding why patients do not discuss the MSD with their physician revealed: (1) the perceived lack of importance of the problem; (2) the lack of access to healthcare, and (3) the acuity of the problem.

Conclusions: Screening for an MSD and associated comorbidities could prevent the transition of acute conditions to chronic conditions. If PCPs can identify predictors and factors associated with an MSD, they may be able to screen for MSDs more effectively. Earlier identification of MSDs may facilitate earlier treatment and prevent costs associated with resulting chronic disorders and persistent pain and disability.

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