Springer Nature

Bio-psycho-social characteristics and impact of musculoskeletal pain in one hundred children and adolescents consulting general practice

Posted on 2022-01-26 - 04:30
Abstract Background Eight percent of all child and adolescent general practice consultations are due to musculoskeletal conditions, with pain as the most frequent symptom. Despite the commonality of musculoskeletal pain, limited knowledge exists about care-seeking children and adolescents with musculoskeletal pain. The purpose of this study was to describe characteristics of children and adolescents consulting their general practitioner with musculoskeletal pain. Methods This is a cross-sectional study based on baseline data from the child and adolescent musculoskeletal pain cohort study (ChiBPS), carried out in 17 Danish general practice clinics. Patients aged 8–19 years who had musculoskeletal pain when consulting their general practitioner were recruited. Participants completed a questionnaire on demographics, physical activity, pain impact, psychosocial factors, and expectations of their general practitioner. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data. Normally distributed continuous data were described using mean and standard deviation while non-normally data were described using median and interquartile range (IQR). Results We included 100 participants (54% female, median age 13 [IQR: 12–16.5 years]). Frequent pain sites limiting activity were knee (56%), back (20%), ankle (19%), and neck (13%). Most participants (63%) consulted their general practitioner due to inability to use their body as usual, due to pain. Median pain duration at consultation was 5 months [IQR: 3 weeks-1 year]. More than a third were often/sometimes nervous (34%), worried or anxious (33%), and took pain medication (33%). Pain impeded ability to participate in sport activities at school (79%) and disturbed spare time activities (88%). Pain also made it difficult to concentrate for 58%, and to fall asleep for 38%. Only 38% expected a pain free long-term future. Conclusion This study demonstrates the bio-psycho-social impact of musculoskeletal pain in care-seeking children and adolescents. Demographics, pain characteristics, psychosocial characteristics, and physical characteristics should be included in addressing children and adolescents with musculoskeletal pain. Trial registration The ChiBPS study was pre-registered before participant recruitment ( ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03678922) date: 09.20.18.


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