The authors conducted this study to describe how children and adolescents deal with pain and to examine the biopsychosocial factors that are associated with pain-related disability (PRD) in a sample of primary care patients. The cross-sectional study was made up of 133 patients, aged from eight to 16 years, who consulted primary care physiotherapy on a pain-related issue. Data were collected with the Functional Disability Inventory, the Pain Coping Questionnaire and a study-specific questionnaire. Linear multivariate regression analyses were applied to study the associations between PRD and (i) pain coping, (ii) individual-, pain-related and psychosocial variables. They found that behavioural distraction, externalizing and catastrophizing explained 13% of the variance in PRD (regression model 1). In addition, pain intensity, worrying and the ability to reduce pain accounted for 21% of the variance in PRD (regression model 2).
They concluded that variance in PRD was partly explained by pain intensity, worrying and ability to reduce pain and by behavioural distraction, externalizing and catastrophizing. They added that more prospective longitudinal studies are required to identify potential additional variables explaining PRD, establish causality and the potential benefits of approaching these variables in interventions in primary care.