Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
Research Report

The Relationship Between Generalized Joint Hypermobility and Motor Development

Engelbert, R H. H. PhD, PCS, PT; Kooijmans, F T. C. MA, PT, PCS; van Riet, A M. H. MSc, PT, PCS; Feitsma, T M. MSc, PT, PCS; Uiterwaal, C S. P. M. MD, PhD; Helders, P J. M. MSc, PhD, PCS, PT

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Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the presence and localization of joint hypermobility and delay in motor development.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed. All children younger than 2.5 years of age and between four and 12 years of age with generalized joint hypermobility were included. Generalized joint hypermobility was assessed using the criteria of Bulbena. In children between one and 2.5 years of age, motor development was measured using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. In children four to 12 years of age, the Movement Assessment Battery for Children was used.

Results: Data from 72 children were available for analysis. In nine of 16 children younger than 2.5 years of age, a delay in motor development was found without a significant association between the delay in motor development (yes/no) and the Bulbena score (odds ratio: 0.4; 95% confidence interval: 0.07–2.1). In children between four and 12 years of age, a severe delay in motor development was present in 14 of 56 children (25%), while 12 of 56 children (21%) were at risk and 30 of 56 (54%) were age appropriate. No significant association between delay in motor development and the Bulbena score was found (odds ratio: 1.3; 95% confidence interval: 0.8–2.1). The age of independent walking was not significantly associated with the number of hypermobile joints (Bulbena score) (linear regression coefficient: 0.3; 95% confidence interval: −1.5 – 2.1).

Conclusions: Although severe delays in motor development may be observed in approximately one third of children with generalized joint hypermobility, there is no association between the amount of generalized joint hypermobility and delay in motor development.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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