Hypermobility prevalence, measurements, and outcomes in childhood, adolescence and emerging adulthood: A systematic review

Wendy Timmons, John Sproule, Joanne M Williams, Liron Blajwajs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

General Joint Hypermobility (GJH) is a common condition found in 2-57% of the population. Of those with GJH, 10% suffer from accompanying physical and/or psychological symptoms. While the understanding of GJH in the general population is unfolding, its implication in a cohort of children, adolescents and young adults are not yet understood. This systematic review explored GJH's prevalence, tools to measure it, its physical and psychosocial symptoms, with a special interest in aesthetic sports. The CINHAL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus and Scopus databases were searched for relevant studies. Inclusion criteria were (1) Age range of 5-24; (2) Participants had GJH; (3) A measurement for GJH; (4) Studies written in English language. Study screening for title, abstract and full text (when needed) and quality assessment were performed by two independent individuals. 107 studies were included in this review and were thematically grouped into six clusters expressing different foci: (1) GJH's Core Characteristics; (2) Orthopedic; (3) Physical Other; (4) Psychosocial; (5) Treatment and (6) Aesthetic Sports. The review revealed a growing interest in GJH in this cohort in the last decade, especially regarding non-musculoskeletal physical implications and psychosocial aspects. Prevalence varied between different ethnic groups and as a parameter of age, gender and measurement. The most widespread tool to measure GJH was the Beighton scale, with a cut-off varying between 4 and 7. Children show fewer, but similar GJH implication to those in the general population, however, more research on the topic is warranted, especially regarding psychosocial aspects and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1423-1444
JournalRheumatology international
Issue number8
Early online date6 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • hypermobility
  • generalised joint hypermobility


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