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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Mar 2019 - 29 Mar 2019

Human Studies

2019 Jul 26

Scand J Pain



Test-retest repeatability of questionnaire for pain symptoms for school children aged 10-15 years.


Pirnes KP, Kallio J, Siekkinen K, Hakonen H, Häkkinen A, Tammelin T
Scand J Pain. 2019 Jul 26; 19(3):575-582.
PMID: 30917106.


Background and aims There is a growing body of evidence, that pain is common at school age. Less is known about the repeatability of pain questionnaires for children. This study aimed to assess the test-retest repeatability of the Finnish version of the electronic pain questionnaire for school-aged children. Methods Primary (n = 79) and lower secondary (n = 127) schoolchildren aged 10-15 years from two schools from the Jyväskylä region of Finland, filled in an electronic questionnaire twice in an interval of 2 weeks. It captured the frequency of pain symptoms with a five-point Likert-scale questionnaire covering nine areas of the body for the last 3 months. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values 0.40-0.59 reflected fair and 0.60-0.74 good repeatability. Results The highest prevalences of pain were in the head (29%) and neck and shoulder (NS) (23%) areas. ICC values showed good repeatability for questions about pain frequency in the head, NS and lower extremities. In primary school, these values were good in the lower extremities and fair in NS, lower back and the head. In lower secondary school, the ICC values were good in NS and the head, fair in the stomach and lower extremities. Conclusions This electronic questionnaire was an acceptably repeatable indicator to measure the frequency of pain in the most prevalent pain areas: the head and NS. Implications It is important to be aware of the impact of health-related outcomes on children's ability to be successful in their lives. With the help of a simple electronic questionnaire, it is possible to cost-effectively capture, for example, the prevalence and frequency of pain during the school hours. The identification of children's pain symptoms accurately provides more possibilities to prevent and to minimize the chronic pain among schoolchildren.