Prevalence of perceived pain and its impact on daily lives and activities of adolescents

  • AAK Morsey


Having chronic pain can affect a child\'s development in many ways from hindering everyday functioning in family relationships to school and social disruptions. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of perceived pain on the daily lives and activities of adolescents through measuring the 3-month prevalence of painful conditions, delineating pain features, and describing its consequences. The study was conducted in 4 preparatory and 4 secondary schools in Port-Said city. The 720 adolescent students completed the questionnaire on their own. Of the 720 adolescents, 580 (80.6%) had experienced pain during the preceding 3 months. Headache (54.1%), abdominal pain (36.6%), leg pain (30.9%), and back pain (20.2%) were the most prevalent types. Adolescents with pain reported that their pain negatively affected their sleep (50.0%), social meetings with friends (32.6%), school absenteeism (31.7%), and loss of appetite (30.7%). 41.7% of the adolescents stated that pain had been present for 12 months or more and 46.3% of them reported that their pain was moderate in intensity, while 22.3% reported that it was severe. Also, 32.8% of adolescents visited doctors and 37.8% did investigations for pain. The prevalence of pain was significantly higher among girls than among boys, p<0.001. Activities of daily living were statistically significantly more affected with increasing pain intensity, p<0.001. These study findings would increase knowledge about adolescents\' pain to enable parents, teachers, nurses, and health care professionals to assist young people with pain management, allowing them to intervene positively in their conditions before they become recurrent or persistent.

African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 13 (3-4) 2006: pp. 18-28

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eISSN: 1022-9272