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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

MS in Human Genetics

First Advisor

Lindsey Alico Ecker


The hypermobile type of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) is thought to be the most common inherited connective tissue disorder. Despite its suspected prevalence, diagnosing this phenotypically heterogeneous condition remains a challenge that has dramatic impacts on quality of life for individuals with hEDS. This study explores the utility of a diagnostic tool for individuals with signs of hEDS to assess whether their features align with 2017 diagnostic criteria. The study also explores how this tool may help patients communicate information about hEDS to their doctors, influencing the diagnosis of hEDS and affecting patient experiences. Using focus groups, 15 participants clinically diagnosed with hEDS were interviewed about their thoughts and opinions on a prototype of the diagnostic tool. The data was analyzed using affinity mapping. The feedback provides insight on the perceived usefulness, ease, and value of the tool, including preferred phrasing of questions, preferences regarding layout and design aspects, and how participants think individuals would access the tool.