Affiliations: Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Teddington, UK | Whipps Cross Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK | University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK | Hypermobility Unit, Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, London, UK | Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
Note:  Corresponding author: Emma Connelly, Therapy Centre, O Block, West Middlesex University Hospital, Twickenham Road, Isleworth TW7 6AF, UK. Tel.: +44 07745398470; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Generalised joint hypermobility (GJH) is common in the general population and may not confer any adverse symptoms. Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) is a connective tissue disorder that often runs in families and may present with a complex array of signs and symptoms. JHS is under-recognised and often poorly managed by the medical and physiotherapy professions. OBJECTIVES: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of GJH and JHS in patients attending a Musculoskeletal Triage Clinic. Secondary aims of this study were to explore the health-related quality of life, pain levels, primary pain area and number of painful joints in patients with and without JHS. METHOD: A cross-sectional study design was used. The participant population included a convenience sample from patients attending a Musculoskeletal Triage Clinic based in a Primary Care setting in London. The main outcome tools were the Beighton Score, Brighton Criteria, the EQ-5D-5 L and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). RESULTS: A total of 150 participants were recruited into the study. GJH was recorded in 19% of participants and JHS was recorded in 30% of participants. Participants with JHS reported a greater number of painful joints (p < 0.05) than those without. No difference was found in the EQ-5D-5 L and the global VAS scores between the group with JHS and the group without. Participants with JHS (p < 0.01) were found to be more likely to present with wrist/hand pain as their main problem compared to those without JHS. CONCLUSIONS: This study found GJH in 19% and JHS in 30% of participants attending a Musculoskeletal Triage Clinic. This study also found that patients with JHS are likely to present with a greater number of painful joints and are more likely to present with wrist/hand pain as their main problem than those without JHS.