The prevalence of generalized and syndromic hypermobility in elite Australian dancers

Cliffton Chan*, Luke Hopper, Feili Zhang, Verity Pacey, Leslie L. Nicholson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: 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.

Design: Observational Cohort Study.

Setting: Laboratory.

Participants: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Therapy in Sport
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • ballet
  • Beighton score
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • lower limb assessment scale


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