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Keywords:

  • BMI;
  • body image;
  • bullying;
  • children and adolescents;
  • health-related quality of life;
  • pain;
  • public health

Aim.  The aim is to study the health-related quality of life in a school sample of children and adolescents aged 8–18 years and to examine the relationship between health-related quality of life and the following variables; age, gender, perceived pain, body image, body mass index and bullying.

Background.  The study of health-related quality of life in children and adolescents have received little attention compared with adults in health care research and still little is known about the associations between health-related quality of life and other variables.

Design.  A cross-sectional design was chosen.

Method.  We measured the health-related quality of life using the generic questionnaire KIDSCREEN-10. We administered the KIDSCREEN 52-item, and the 10 items were selected from this according to the KIDSCREEN manual. Multilevel regression models were used to evaluate the associations between health-related quality of life and the independent variables.

Results.  The sample included 1066 children and adolescents, 576 girls and 490 boys, with a response rate of 74%. The results show that body mass index was not significant associated with health-related quality of life in full model. However, in addition to age, being bullied, pain and body image were significant associated with health-related quality of life. Of these predictors, body image has the strongest impact in terms of explained variance in health-related quality of life.

Conclusion.  The subjective sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with one’s body, perceived body image, is a powerful predictor of health-related quality of life.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Knowledge about predictors of health-related quality of life is especially important for public health nurses. Health promotion and intervention programmes that aim to strengthen psychosocial well-being, especially those that strengthen body image, should be developed for both genders.