Background: The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain changes significantly between pre-adolescence and adolescence. It is nclear whether parent proxy reports and child report of pain and trauma are concordant. This study investigated the respective agreement between pre-adolescents and their parents in reporting head and/or neck trauma and recurrent neck pain and/or headache.
Methods: This cross-sectional observational study formed part of a study carried out to ascertain the prevalence of non-specific neck pain and/or headache in 131 Swedish pre-adolescents. Information was gathered from a questionnaire completed in school, and an informed consent with additional questions for the parents.
Results: All of the students (n=131) who were approached to participate in the study agreed to complete the questionnaire. Of these, 40% (n=52) reported that they experienced neck pain and/or headaches with 31% (n=41) reporting the frequency was “often.” The parental report differed with 6% (n=8) of parents acknowledging that their child often had neck pain and/or headache. Similarly, 61% (n=80) of children reported trauma to the head/neck while 20% (n= 26) of the parents reported that their child had experienced trauma to the head and/or neck region.
Conclusion: Neck pain and/or headache in this group of Swedish pre-adolescents were common, as was previous trauma to the head or neck. Most of the parents were unaware that their child often had neck pain and/or headache or had suffered head or neck trauma. This discordance should be further explored to better understand the change in reporting pain from pre-adolescence to adolescence.
Author affiliations: Chairperson EAC SIG Paediatrics, FEAC (Faculty European Academy of Chiropractic), FRCC (Faculty Royal College of Chiropractors), Stockholm, Sweden
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