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Joint Hypermobility Classes in 9-Year-Old Children from the General Population and Anxiety Symptoms

Ezpeleta, Lourdes, PhD*,†; Navarro, José Blas, PhD*,‡; Osa, Núria de la, PhD*,†; Penelo, Eva, PhD*,‡; Bulbena, Antoni, MD§,‖

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: July/August 2018 - Volume 39 - Issue 6 - p 481–488
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000577
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Objective: To obtain joint hypermobility classes in children from the general population and to study their characteristics in relation to anxiety measures.

Methods: A total of 336 nine-year-old children from the general population were clinically assessed through 9 items of hypermobility, and their parents reported about the severity of anxiety symptoms. Latent class analysis was estimated to group the children according to the presence of hypermobility symptoms, and the obtained classes were related to anxiety.

Results: A 2-class solution, labeled as high hypermobility and low hypermobility, best fitted the data. Children in the high hypermobility group scored higher in separation anxiety, social phobia, physical injury fears, and total anxiety than did those in the low group. When applying the threshold reference scores to the total anxiety score, 7.4% of children in the high hypermobility group versus 6% in the low group were reported to experience clinical elevations on total anxiety.

Conclusion: High symptoms of hypermobility are associated with higher scores in anxiety symptoms in children from the general population. Children with frequent symptoms of hypermobility may benefit from screening for anxiety symptoms because a subset of them are experiencing clinical elevations and may need comprehensive physical and psychological treatment.

This article has supplementary material on the web site: www.jdbp.org.

*Unitat d'Epidemiologia i de Diagnòstic en Psicopatologia del Desenvolupament, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain;

Departament de Psicologia Clínica i de la Salut, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain;

Departament de Psicobiologia i Metodologia de les Ciències de la Salut, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain;

§Departament de Psiquiatria i Medicina Legal, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain;

Institut Neuropsiquiatria i Addicions Parc de Salut Mar CIBERSAM, Barcelona, Spain.

Address for reprints: Lourdes Ezpeleta, PhD, Departament de Psicologia Clínica i de la Salut, Edifici B, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain; e-mail: Lourdes.ezpeleta@uab.cat.

Supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Grant PSI2015-63965-R [MINECO/FEDER]) and the Secretaria d'Universitats i Recerca, Departament d'Economia i Coneixement de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Grant 2014 SGR 312).

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jdbp.org).

Received October , 2017

Accepted March , 2018

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.