Bodily pain and associated mental distress among immigrant adolescents. A population-based cross-sectional study.

Institute of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, Norway.
European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.55). 11/2005; 14(7):371-5. DOI: 10.1007/s00787-005-0484-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to describe differences among immigrant groups in bodily pain, and analyze its association with mental distress.
A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out involving tenth grade pupils in Oslo. Of the 7,343 pupils that participated, one-quarter were first- or second-generation immigrants. The Hopkins Symptom Checklist-10 was used to measure mental distress. All information on pain and mental distress was self-reported.
Girls reported more bodily pain from all types of pain. Headache was the most prevalent pain site across gender and immigrant groups. Strong associations between mental distress and number of pain sites were found for all immigrant groups. Neck and shoulder pain yielded the highest odds ratio (OR) for mental distress among the majority of the immigrant groups. The Sub-Saharan African group had the highest adjusted OR for mental distress [OR=9.8 (1.1-82.7)] when reporting three or more pain sites, and the Indian Subcontinent the lowest [OR=4.0 (1.8-8.8)].
The differences in number and types of pain were small, though significant between the different immigrant groups. Adolescents from Sub-Saharan Africa seem to react with more mental distress to bodily pain than adolescents emigrating from the Indian Subcontinent.

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