Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 35, Issue 12, pp 3025–3030 | Cite as

A survey of anatomical items relevant to the practice of rheumatology: upper extremity, head, neck, spine, and general concepts

  • Pablo Villaseñor-Ovies
  • José Eduardo Navarro-Zarza
  • Miguel Ángel SaavedraEmail author
  • Cristina Hernández-Díaz
  • Juan J. Canoso
  • Joseph J. Biundo
  • Robert A. Kalish
  • Francisco Javier de Toro Santos
  • Dennis McGonagle
  • Simon Carette
  • José Alvarez-Nemegyei
Original Article


This study aimed to identify the anatomical items of the upper extremity and spine that are potentially relevant to the practice of rheumatology. Ten rheumatologists interested in clinical anatomy who published, taught, and/or participated as active members of Clinical Anatomy Interest groups (six seniors, four juniors), participated in a one-round relevance Delphi exercise. An initial, 560-item list that included 45 (8.0 %) general concepts items; 138 (24.8 %) hand items; 100 (17.8 %) forearm and elbow items; 147 (26.2 %) shoulder items; and 130 (23.2 %) head, neck, and spine items was compiled by 5 of the participants. Each item was graded for importance with a Likert scale from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important). Thus, scores could range from 10 (1 × 10) to 50 (5 × 10). An item score of ≥40 was considered most relevant to competent practice as a rheumatologist. Mean item Likert scores ranged from 2.2 ± 0.5 to 4.6 ± 0.7. A total of 115 (20.5 %) of the 560 initial items reached relevance. Broken down by categories, this final relevant item list was composed by 7 (6.1 %) general concepts items; 32 (27.8 %) hand items; 20 (17.4 %) forearm and elbow items; 33 (28.7 %) shoulder items; and 23 (17.6 %) head, neck, and spine items. In this Delphi exercise, a group of practicing academic rheumatologists with an interest in clinical anatomy compiled a list of anatomical items that were deemed important to the practice of rheumatology. We suggest these items be considered curricular priorities when training rheumatology fellows in clinical anatomy skills and in programs of continuing rheumatology education.


Clinical anatomy Physical examination Regional pain syndromes Rheumatology education 


Compliance with ethical standards




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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Villaseñor-Ovies
    • 1
    • 2
  • José Eduardo Navarro-Zarza
    • 3
    • 4
  • Miguel Ángel Saavedra
    • 5
    Email author
  • Cristina Hernández-Díaz
    • 6
  • Juan J. Canoso
    • 7
    • 8
  • Joseph J. Biundo
    • 9
  • Robert A. Kalish
    • 8
    • 10
  • Francisco Javier de Toro Santos
    • 11
  • Dennis McGonagle
    • 12
  • Simon Carette
    • 13
    • 14
  • José Alvarez-Nemegyei
    • 15
  1. 1.Hospital Ángeles de TijuanaTijuanaMexico
  2. 2.Universidad Autónoma de Baja CaliforniaMexicaliMexico
  3. 3.Hospital General de Chilpancingo Raymundo Abarca AlarcónChilpancingoMexico
  4. 4.Universidad Autónoma de GuerreroAcapulcoMexico
  5. 5.Hospital de Especialidades Dr. Antonio Fraga Mouret, Centro Médico Nacional La RazaInstituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialMexico CityMexico
  6. 6.Laboratorio de Ultrasonido Musculoesquelético y ArticularInstituto Nacional de RehabilitaciónMéxicoMexico
  7. 7.Centro Médico ABCMéxicoMexico
  8. 8.Tufts Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  9. 9.Tulane Medical CenterNew OrleansUSA
  10. 10.Tufts Medical CenterBostonUSA
  11. 11.Servicio de Reumatología, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de A Coruña (INIBIC), Complejo Hospitalario Universitario A Coruña (CHUAC), Sergas, Universidad La Coruña (UDC)CoruñaSpain
  12. 12.UK National Institute for Health Research Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal MedicineUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  13. 13.Division of RheumatologyUniversity Health Network, Mount Sinai HospitalTorontoCanada
  14. 14.University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  15. 15.Unidad de Investigación, Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad de la Península de YucatánMéridaMexico

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