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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Sep 2019 - 13 Sep 2019


Human Studies

2020 Mar - Apr

J Pain



Pain, physical and psychosocial functioning in adolescents at-risk for developing chronic pain: A longitudinal case-control study.


Wilson AC, Holley AL, Stone A, Fales JL, Palermo TM
J Pain. 2020 Mar - Apr; 21(3-4):418-429.
PMID: 31494274.


This longitudinal case-control study aims to 1) compare symptoms and functioning in otherwise healthy adolescents with versus without a parent with chronic pain (Parent CP+/Parent CP-) 2) test adolescent sex as a moderator of the relation between parent CP group and child functioning, and 3) determine changes in adolescent pain over one year. Adolescents (n=140; ages 11-15) completed tests of pain responsivity and physical function, as well as self-report measures assessing pain characteristics, somatic symptoms, and physical and psychosocial functioning. Self-reported pain and somatic symptoms were re-assessed one year later. Adolescents in the Parent CP+ group reported greater pain, somatic symptoms, and worse physical health than Parent CP- youth. Parent CP+ youth performed worse on all tests of physical function. Some observed effects were stronger for girls than boys. There were no differences between groups on pain responsivity. Both groups reported increased pain and somatic symptoms from baseline to one-year follow-up, with the Parent CP+ group reporting the highest level of symptoms at both time points. This study highlights the potential impact of parental pain status on children, particularly daughters, and is the first to document objective physical functioning differences in youth at risk for developing chronic pain. Perspective: Adolescents who have a parent with chronic pain demonstrate higher pain and lower physical function than adolescents who have a parent without chronic pain. Group differences in pain and somatic symptoms persist over one year. Family based interventions are needed for comprehensive pain prevention and treatment.