Incorporating joint pain screening into the pediatric dermatologic examination

Andrea M. Rustad, Brian E. Nolan, Ayelet Ollech, Michael J. Boctor, Amy S. Paller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Objectives: Joint manifestations are a feature of many pediatric skin disorders, among them psoriasis, autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases, hypermobility disorders, and as an adverse effect of certain medications. Identifying joint disease early is important for intervention and prevention of chronic damage. However, pediatric musculoskeletal complaints are common and determining whether symptoms warrant a rheumatology referral for arthritis can be challenging. Methods: Pediatric dermatologists were surveyed for their comfort in screening for joint disease. Through literature review and interviews with three pediatric rheumatologists, key joints involved in disorders with skin manifestations and arthritis were identified and the essential evaluations were determined. Results: Of 100 surveyed practicing board-certified pediatric dermatologists, 79% did not feel confident in their ability to perform a joint-focused physical examination, a key step in screening for joint disease. A rapid joint examination technique (R-JET) was developed, along with an accompanying three-question survey and body diagram for patient self-report of symptoms. A video demonstration of the R-JET was created as a teaching tool. Conclusions: Teaching and incorporation of a rapid screening examination for arthritis by pediatric dermatologists has the potential to identify pediatric arthritis earlier, facilitate referral, and reduce the risk of progressive joint disease. These instruments can easily be incorporated into a pediatric dermatology office visit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-97
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • connective tissue disorders
  • health care delivery
  • inflammatory disorders
  • psoriasis
  • vasculitis


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