Affiliations: University of Hertfordshire, School of Health and Social Work, Hatfield, Herts, UK | Kings College London, London, UK | Hypermobility Unit, Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, London, UK | Institute of Child Health, University College, London, UK
Note:  Corresponding author: S.E. Billings, University of Hertfordshire, School of Health and Social Work, Hatfield, Herts, UK. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To explore knowledge and perceptions of Joint Hypermobility (JHM) and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) amongst paediatric physiotherapists and to determine training needs. DESIGN: National online survey. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: UK paediatric physiotherapists were surveyed through the interactive website of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (iCSP). INTERVENTION: A previously validated, self-report questionnaire with minor modifications was distributed nationally via iCSP. RESULTS: Ninety-one questionnaires were completed with representation from all NHS regions. 84% (76/91) of respondents had 6 or more years of experience. Fifty-one percent (46/91) of physiotherapists had received no pre- or post-registration training about JHS. Seventy-nine percent (72/91) were confident in their ability to diagnose JHM, while 54% (49/91) were confident in their ability to diagnose JHS. The physiotherapists had better knowledge of the articular features than the non-articular features of JHS with mean knowledge scores of 63.8% and 54.7% respectively. Eighty percent (73/91) of physiotherapists perceived JHS to have significant impact on quality of life. Education and reassurance, home exercises, proprioception, closed chain exercises, postural education and orthotics, were perceived by more than 80% respondents as effective. Ninety-seven percent (88/91) indicated a need for continuing professional development (CPD) training. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of respondents considered JHS to impact significantly on quality of life. Participants had greater confidence in diagnosing JHM than JHS and had better knowledge of the articular features than the non-articular features of JHS. Results suggest that undergraduate and CPD education is required to facilitate greater understanding of the assessment and management of this multi-system condition.