Factors related to the quality of life in adolescents with chronic pain

Vivian P B M Merlijn, Joke A M Hunfeld, Johannes C van der Wouden, Alice A J M Hazebroek-Kampschreur, Jan Passchier, Bart W Koes

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OBJECTIVE: This study examined the relationships between pain characteristics, psychosocial factors, and quality of life among adolescents with chronic pain that existed for at least 3 months, either recurrently (ie, pain with pain-free intervals) or continuously.

METHODS: The authors conducted a cross-sectional study in 194 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years who completed questionnaires on pain, psychosocial factors (ie, vulnerability, reinforcement, modeling, and coping), and quality of life, and also kept a diary about their pain complaints for 3 weeks.

RESULTS: Multiple hierarchical regression analysis revealed that psychosocial variables accounted for a significant variance in the adolescents' quality of life, even when controlling for pain characteristics. Analysis of the independent variables showed that pain intensity and vulnerability contributed significantly and uniquely to the variance of most quality-of-life domains. In addition, the authors found that emotion-focused avoidance coping strategies (ie, catastrophizing) strengthened the negative relation between pain intensity and psychological functioning.

CONCLUSIONS: In addition to pain, psychosocial factors (vulnerability, reinforcement, modeling, and coping) are strongly associated with quality of life in adolescents with chronic pain. These results may contribute to psychological interventions focused on psychological adaptation in young pain patients to improve their quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-15
Number of pages10
JournalThe Clinical Journal of Pain
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain/diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Psychology
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Assessment/methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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