Introduction: Joint hypermobility (JH) is an inherited clinical condition with increased joint elasticity in passive movements. In the general population, its frequency, which can be estimated through specific methods, such as the nine-point Beighton hypermobility score (Beighton score) and the self-reported five-part questionnaire for identifying hypermobility (five-part questionnaire), ranges from 10% to 20%.
Objectives: To validate the Portuguese version of the five-part questionnaire and to determine its sensitivity and specificity when compared with the Beighton score for diagnosing JH.
Methods: The five-part questionnaire for identifying hypermobility was translated into Portuguese and applied to 2,523 Brazilian university students. Then, a sample with 394 randomly selected students was evaluated by use of the Beighton score, aiming at establishing the JH diagnosis. Finally, the two methods were statistically compared.
Results: The JH frequency was 37.01% when using the five-part questionnaire, and 34% when using the Beighton score. Considering sex, the JH frequencies according to the five-part questionnaire and Beighton score were 43.54% and 44.26% in females, and 28.44% and 16% in males, respectively. The sensitivity of the self-reported questionnaire was 70.9% and its specificity was 77.4%, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.786.
Conclusions: JH is frequent in Brazilian university students, and more common in women. The self-reported five-part questionnaire for JH identification, translated into Portuguese and validated, was an effective method when compared with the Beighton score for identifying JH.