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

Acta Paediatr. 2012 Dec;101(12):1246-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02829.x. Epub 2012 Sep 24.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chronic Pain / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Life
  • Recurrence
  • Sweden / epidemiology