Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of joint laxity in children born preterm assessed in the first 2 years, the relationship between joint laxity and motor performance at preschool age, and possible changes over time in a subgroup of children followed longitudinally. Study design: The revised scale of Beighton Score was used to evaluate joint laxity in a population of 132 preschool children born preterm between 24 and 32 weeks of gestational age. All were assessed for joint laxity between 12 and 24 months of age. Children also performed the Movement Assessment Battery for Children–Second Edition between the age of 3 years and 6 months and 4 years; the age at onset of independent walking also was recorded. Results: The total Beighton Score ranged between 0 and 8. Twenty percent of the cohort showed joint laxity. No differences related to sex or gestational age were observed. Children born preterm with joint laxity achieved later independent walking and achieved lower scores on Movement Assessment Battery for Children–Second Edition than those without joint laxity. In 76 children born preterm, an assessment for joint laxity was repeated once between 25 and 36 months and again after >36 months. No statistically significant difference was observed between the 3 assessments. Conclusions: The Beighton Score can be used to assess generalized joint laxity in children born preterm. As the presence of joint laxity influenced motor competences, the possibility to early identify these infants in the first 2 years is of interest to benefit from early intervention and potentially improve gross motor skills and coordination.
- Beighton Score
- joint laxity
- preterm children
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health