Pain in children and adolescents in primary care; chronic and recurrent pain is common


S Holm, MSc, PhD student, Department of Neuroscience, BMC Box 593, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala, Sweden.
Tel: +46-18-4714781 |
Fax: +46-18-4714735 |


Aim:  The aim of this study was to describe a paediatric primary care pain sample and examine associations between pain, health-related quality of life and disability.

Methods:  The study design is descriptive and cross-sectional. One hundred and fifty-four consecutive children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 16 seeking care for a pain-related conditions participated in this study. Pain characteristics, health-related quality of life and disability were investigated.

Results:  Eighty-seven per cent of participants had a pain duration of 3 months or more, and almost half of the group studied had a pain duration of ≥ 12 months. The disability levels in the study group as a whole were low, with a mean FDI of 10.4 (SD 7.6). However, 35% of the study group had moderate disability levels and reported a mean FDI of 18.7 (SD 4.8). Single pain location was reported in 42%, whereas 58% had two or more pain locations. The children with multiple pain locations reported lower health-related quality of life and higher disability than children with single pain location.

Conclusion:  Paediatric pain patients in primary care consist partly of patients only slightly influenced by pain and partly of patients for whom pain has a great impact on their lives.