Minor physical anomalies in mentally healthy subjects: Internal consistency of the Waldrop Physical Anomaly Scale



The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of minor physical anomalies in mentally healthy subjects by using the Waldrop Physical Anomaly Scale and to assess the reliability (internal consistency) of the scale. The subjects were 82 mentally healthy individuals (42 men, 40 women) of Bulgarian origin who were examined for minor physical anomalies. Mentally healthy individuals show a low mean score of minor physical anomalies. The anomalies prevail in the craniofacial region. The correlations between the anomalies are low, which implies poor internal consistency of the scale, probably due to the heterogeneity of the anomalies in terms of location, character, and time of prenatal development and adversity. Providing a base for comparative studies of developmental disorders, the findings infer the necessity of a more reliable scale for examination of informative morphogenetic variants which can distinguish between minor malformations and phenogenetic variants and suggest the period of prenatal adversity. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 15:61–67, 2003. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.