Ehlers-Danlos syndrome hypermobility type a. k. a. joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS/EDS-HT) is a hereditary musculoskeletal disorder associating generalized joint hypermobility with chronic pain. Anecdotal reports suggest a prominent role for kinesiophobia in disease manifestations, but no study has systematically addressed this point.
Objective: To investigate the impact of kinesiophobia and its relationship with pain, fatigue, and quality of life in JHS/EDS-HT.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Subjects/patients: 42 patients (40 female and 2 male) with JHS/EDS-HT diagnosis following standardized diagnostic criteria were selected.
Methods: Disease features were analyzed by means of specific questionnaires and scales evaluating kinesiophobia, pain, fatigue, and quality of life. The relationships among variables were investigated using the Spearman bivariate analysis.
Results: Kinesiophobia resulted predominantly in the patients' sample. The values of kinesiophobia did not correlate with intensity of pain, quality of life, and (or) the single component of fatigue. A strong correlation was discovered between kinesiophobia and general severity of fatigue.
Conclusions: In JHS/EDS-HT, the onset of pain-avoiding strategies is related to the presence of pain but not to its intensity. The clear-cut correlation between kinesiophobia and severity of fatigue suggests a direct link between musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. In JHS/EDS-HT, the underlying mechanism is likely to be facilitated by primary disease characteristics, including hypotonia.