Generalized joint hypermobility and anxiety in adolescents and young adults, the impact on physical and psychosocial functioning

Janneke de Vries, Jeanine Verbunt, Janine Stubbe, Bart Visser, Stephan Ramaekers, Patrick Calders, Raoul Engelbert

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to study the association between the presence of generalized joint hypermobility (GJH) and anxiety within a non-clinical high performing group of adolescents and young adults. Second, to study the impact of GJH and/or anxiety on physical and psychosocial functioning, 168 adolescents and young adults (mean (SD) age 20 (2.9)) were screened. Joint (hyper) mobility, anxiety, and physical and psychosocial functioning were measured. In 48.8% of all high performing adolescents and young adults, GJH was present, whereas 60% had symptoms of anxiety. Linear models controlled for confounders showed that adolescents and young adults with GJH and anxiety had decreased workload (ß (95%CI) -0.43 (-0.8 to -0.08), p-value 0.02), increased fatigue (ß (95%CI) 12.97 (6.3-19.5), p-value < 0.01), and a higher level of pain catastrophizing (ß (95%CI) 4.5 (0.5-8.6), p-value 0.03). Adolescents and young adults with only anxiety had increased fatigue (ß (95%CI) 11 (4.9-19.5). In adolescents and young adults with GJH alone, no impact on physical and psychosocial functioning was found. Adolescents and young adults with the combination of GJH and anxiety were significantly more impaired, showing decreased physical and psychosocial functioning with decreased workload, increased fatigue, and pain catastrophizing. Presence of GJH alone had no negative impact on physical and psychosocial functioning. This study confirms the association between GJH and anxiety, but especially emphasizes the disabling role of anxiety. Screening for anxiety is relevant in adolescents and young adults with GJH and might influence tailored interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number525
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety
  • Hypermobility

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