The prevalence of generalized and syndromic hypermobility in elite Australian dancers
Physical Therapy in Sp
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
To determine the prevalence of Generalized Joint Hypermobility (GJH) and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome/Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome–Hypermobility Type (JHS/EDS-HT) among dancers using established validated measures.
Observational Cohort Study.
85 dancers from two dance institutions.
Main Outcome Measures
GJH was determined using the Beighton score (cut-point ≥5/9) and the Lower Limb Assessment Scale (LLAS) (cut-point ≥7/12). Presence of JHS/EDS-HT was assessed using the Brighton and Villefranche criteria. Paired sample t-test was performed to compare LLAS side-to-side scores, and percentage disagreements calculated to determine differences between the two GJH and the two JHS/EDS-HT measures.
72% of dancers met the Beighton cut-point for GJH, while 38% and 42% met the LLAS cut-point on the left and right respectively. The proportion of dancers identified with GJH was different when assessed using the Beighton compared to the left and right LLAS (both p < 0.001), a disagreement of 48% and 46% respectively, with Beighton classifying more participants as having GJH. The Villefranche identified more dancers with JHS/EDS-HT than the Brighton (84% vs 31%, p < 0.001), with 54% disagreement.
High prevalence of generalized and syndromic hypermobility was found regardless of the criteria used. A higher Beighton cut-point, e.g. ≥6/9, to identify true GJH amongst dancers maybe warranted.