The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic boosted telemedicine applications, and doctors sought to create new musculoskeletal evaluation techniques for virtual consultations. For a study, researchers looked at the inter-rater reliability, acceptability, and applicability of the real-time video Pediatric Gait, Arms, Legs, and Spine (v-pGALS) assessment used in the evaluation during the telemedicine session.

The design of the study was cross-sectional. About 40 school-aged children with musculoskeletal issues who visited outpatient clinics were included. Children were initially assessed face-to-face using v-pGALS for interrater reliability, and then the children were reassessed using real-time evaluation (online video chat) by a different physiatrist with the assistance of a parent. The smiley face visual analog scale was used by patients and parents to rate how comfortable and how much time it took, while the ratio of exam completion time to exam completion rate was used to measure practicality.

Between the outcomes of the in-person test and the online video examination, a κ coefficient of agreement of 0.88 was discovered, indicating extremely strong agreement between the 2 raters. Parents and patients both regarded v-pGALS to be very acceptable; 60% of children and 80% of parents thought the test’s time was acceptable, while 70% of patients and 95% of parents said the examination caused them no discomfort. The time for the in-person test was 5.75±1.29 minutes, whereas the time for the online exam was 15.81± 4.9 minutes.

For musculoskeletal evaluation of children during telemedicine visits, video pGALS is a trustworthy, agreeable, and practical testing technique.

Reference: journals.lww.com/jclinrheum/Abstract/2022/08000/Interrater_Reliability,_Acceptability,_and.1.aspx