Joint hypermobility research
Joint hypermobility research at UWE Bristol
Hypermobility-related disorders cause multiple health problems.
Our qualitative research has shown that people wait a long time to get a diagnosis, and that they struggle to manage the very wide-ranging effects on their lives. Improved education and information are needed for health professionals and patients.
Epidemiological research that we did has confirmed the links between joint hypermobility and pain, particularly when accompanied by obesity.
In the laboratory, we have shown that hypermobility changes how people move and that this affects their physical function and quality of life.
Patients and health professionals have told us what helps people to better manage their condition. We used that information to design and evaluate a physiotherapy intervention.
And our systematic reviews about diagnosis, injury, psychosocial impact and conservative management have provided a fuller understanding of the existing research evidence.
Bristol Impact of Hypermobility Questionnaire
We worked very closely with patients to develop and validate the Bristol Impact of Hypermobility (BIoH) questionnaire. Focus groups and interviews helped us to understand the wide-ranging impact on people’s lives. Patients then helped us to develop and refine questions to measure that impact.
The BIoH questionnaire was validated by 615 members of a UK patient organisation. BIoH scores are strongly linked with physical function and the number of painful body areas. The BIoH questionnaire is better than a commonly used health questionnaire; can tell the difference between those with and without hypermobility; and has excellent reliability. Patients and physiotherapists have told us that it is useful and we know how much change in the BIoH score is needed to be important.
The questionnaire is freely available for academic and clinical use:
For further information, contact Professor Shea Palmer.