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: 3.34). 11/2005; 14(7):371-5. DOI: 10.1007/s00787-005-0484-5
Source: PubMed


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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    • "The high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, mental health problems, and their association is in accordance with earlier studies [2-4,9-11,16,39], with similar findings as a comparable survey done in other Norwegian counties [3,39]. A matter of concern was the high number of females with more than one pain site who reported above the clinical cut-off for anxiety/depression. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pain is common in otherwise healthy adolescents. In recent years widespread musculoskeletal pain, in contrast to single site pain, and associating factors has been emphasized. Musculoskeletal pain has not been examined in Arctic indigenous adolescents. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of widespread musculoskeletal pain and its association with psychosocial factors, with emphasis on gender- and ethnic differences (Sami vs. non-Sami), and the influence of pain related functional impairment. Methods This is a cross-sectional study based on The Norwegian Arctic Adolescent Health Study; a school-based survey responded by 4,881 10th grade students (RR: 83%) in North Norway, in 2003–2005. 10% were indigenous Sami. Musculoskeletal pain was based on reported pain in the head, shoulder/neck, back and/or arm/knee/leg, measured by the number of pain sites. Linear multiple regression was used for the multivariable analyses. Results The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain was high, and significantly higher in females. In total, 22.4% reported 3–4 pain sites. We found a strong association between musculoskeletal pain sites and psychosocial problems, with a higher explained variance in those reporting pain related functional impairment and in females. There were no major differences in the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in Sami and non-Sami, however the associating factors differed somewhat between the indigenous and non-indigenous group. The final multivariable model, for the total sample, explained 21.2% of the variance of musculoskeletal pain. Anxiety/depression symptoms was the dominant factor associated with musculoskeletal pain followed by negative life events and school-related stress. Conclusions Anxiety/depression, negative life events, and school-related stress were the most important factors associated with musculoskeletal pain, especially in those reporting pain related functional impairment. The most important sociocultural aspect is the finding that the indigenous Sami are not worse off.
    BMC Public Health 06/2014; 14(1):617. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-617 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "The prevalence of mental distress is very high in late adolescence when acne is very common. From Oslo the prevalence of mental distress among 15-16 year old adolescents are 18%, in the present study (18-19 year old adolescents) 26% and among adults 13% [41,42]. It is suggested that neurogenic factors could contribute to the onset or exacerbation of acne formation, possibly via the neuropeptid substance P and increased number of nerve fibres around the sebaceous glands in acne patients [43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies with conflicting findings have investigated the association between acne and mental health problems. Acne usually starts in adolescents, as does an increase in the prevalence of depression and anxiety. Recently, there has been more focus on the link between diet and acne and diet and mental health problems. The objective of this study is to investigate the association between acne and mental distress and to explore a possible influence of dietary factors on the relation. A population-based cross-sectional study in Oslo of 18 or 19 year old adolescents. The participation rate was 80%. Acne was self-reported. To measure mental distress, the Hopkins Symptom Checklist 10 was used. Diet and lifestyle variables were also collected by questionnaire and socio-demographic variables were obtained from Statistics Norway. The prevalence of acne was 14.4% among the males and 12.8% among the females. The mean score of mental distress increased when the severity of acne increased. In the crude analyses, the significant associations with acne among the males were: mental distress OR = 1.63, frequent consumption of chocolate/sweets OR = 1.40, frequent consumption of potato chips OR = 1.54. The significant crude associations with acne among the females were: mental distress OR = 2.16, infrequent consumption of raw vegetables OR = 1.41, non-Western background OR = 1.77 and low family income OR = 2.14. No crude associations with acne were identified in either gender for the consumption of sugary soft drinks, fatty fish, cigarette smoking or alcohol. In adjusted models which included diet and socio-demographic variables, the association between acne and mental distress was unchanged for both males (OR = 1.68) and females (OR = 2.04), and between acne and infrequent consumption of raw vegetables among the females (OR = 1.38). Among late adolescents in Oslo, self-reported acne is significantly associated with mental distress and, among girls, with infrequent consumption of raw vegetables. Our finding does not support the hypothesis that dietary factors alter the relationship between acne and mental distress.
    BMC Public Health 09/2009; 9(1):340. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-9-340 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "Muscle and skeletal pain were measured by the following questions: "Have you in the last 12 months experienced pain several times in: head, neck/shoulder, arms/legs/knees, stomach, back?"; with responses being "yes" or "no". On the basis of these answers we grouped the adolescents in three groups; 0 pain sites, 1–2 pain sites and 3 to 5 pain sites, treating all pain sites with equal weight [30]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Bullying is a widespread and serious problem that might influence both mental and psychical well being as well as school performance and social life. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of bullying, mental health problems and psychical complaints among 10th and 12th grade students and to analyze the association between bullying, mental health problems and muscle and skeletal complaints. Two cross sectional studies of adolescents living in Oslo, Norway the first conducted in 2001 among 10th grade students (15/16 years old) and the second in 2004 among 12th grade students (18/19 years old). Both surveys were based on self report, were mostly school based and had almost identical questionnaires. There were around 3700 participants in both surveys, but the participation rate was lower in the latter survey (88 versus 80%). The Hopkins Symptoms Check List (HSCL-10) and the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) were used to measure mental health problems. Bullying is decreasing both among boys and girls while the prevalence of internalized mental health problems are increasing from 10th to 12th grade. For muscle and skeletal pain there is a diverging trend between boys and girls, with an increase among girls and a decrease among boys. The highest Odds Ratios, as a measure for the association between bullying, mental health problems and pain, were found for internalized mental health problems at both 10th and 12th grade both for boys and girls. Both internalized and externalized mental health problems together with pain seem to be associated with bullying irrespective of school type and gender.
    Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 04/2009; 5(1):6. DOI:10.1186/1745-0179-5-6
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