Interrater and Intrarater Reliability of the Beighton Score: A Systematic Review

Lauren N. Bockhorn, Angelina M. Vera, David Dong, Domenica A. Delgado, Kevin E. Varner, Joshua D. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: The Beighton score is commonly used to assess the degree of hypermobility in patients with hypermobility spectrum disorder. Since proper diagnosis and treatment in this challenging patient population require valid, reliable, and responsive clinical assessments such as the Beighton score, studies must properly evaluate efficacy and effectiveness. Purpose: To succinctly present a systematic review to determine the inter- and intrarater reliability of the Beighton score and the methodological quality of all analyzed studies for use in clinical applications. Study Design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: A systematic review of the MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and SPORTDiscus databases was performed. Studies that measured inter- or intrarater reliability of the Beighton score in humans with and without hypermobility were included. Non-English, animal, cadaveric, level 5 evidence, and studies utilizing the Beighton score self-assessment version were excluded. Data were extracted to compare scoring methods, population characteristics, and measurements of inter- and intrarater reliability. Risk of bias was assessed with the COSMIN (Consensus-Based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments) 2017 checklist. Results: Twenty-four studies were analyzed (1333 patients; mean ± SD age, 28.19 ± 17.34 years [range, 4-71 years]; 640 females, 594 males, 273 unknown sex). Of the 24 studies, 18 reported raters were health care professionals or health care professional students. For interrater reliability, 5 of 8 (62.5%) intraclass correlation coefficients and 12 of 19 (63.2%) kappa values were substantial to almost perfect. Intrarater reliability was reported as excellent in all studies utilizing intraclass correlation coefficients, and 3 of the 7 articles using kappa values reported almost perfect values. Utilizing the COSMIN criteria, we determined that 1 study met “very good” criteria, 7 met “adequate,” 15 met “doubtful,” and 1 met “inadequate” for overall risk of bias in the reliability domain. Conclusion: The Beighton score is a highly reliable clinical tool that shows substantial to excellent inter- and intrarater reliability when used by raters of variable backgrounds and experience levels. While individual components of risk of bias among studies demonstrated large discrepancy, most of the items were adequate to very good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Beighton score
  • hypermobility
  • interrater
  • intrarater
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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