gms | German Medical Science

11. Jahrestagung 2004 der GAA

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

30.09. bis 01.10.2004, Jena

Prevalence of pain and self-reported use of pain medications in children and adolescents: preliminary results of an epidemiological study

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker A. Roth-Isigkeit - Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie (GAA) e.V.. 11. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie (GAA) e.V.. Jena, 30.09.-01.10.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04gaa13

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 30, 2004

© 2004 Roth-Isigkeit.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Aim of the Study

The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of pain and the self-reported use of medications due to pain in children and adolescents.

Material and Method

After consent was granted by the local ethic committee and the Ministry for Education, Research, Science and Culture, age specific versions of the Luebeck Pain Screening Questionnaire were submitted to N=7996 parents, children, and adolescents aged from 6-18 years for answering. In children of primary school age, data were obtained indirectly from the parents. For children and youths from the 5th grade, the individuals answered the questionnaire themselves. 6354 of the 7996 questionnaires were answered (return rate of 79.5%), of which 6293 (99%) could be included in the evaluation.


The prevalence of overall pain during the preceding 3 months was 81.3%. Of the children and adolescents, 58.3% had headaches, 40.1% suffered from abdominal pain, 35.0% limb pain, 30.9% had back pain, and 30.6% suffered from sore throats during the previous 3 months. A total of 33.2% of the children and adolescents reported that the pain had already lasted for more than 6 months (25.7% for more than 12 months). Pain once a week or more frequently was reported by 35.5% of the children and adolescents. 2345 (37.3%) of the respondents stated, that they visited a doctor due to pain. 2210 (35.1%) of the children and adolescents reported that they had taken medications for the pain. The prevalence of self-reported medication consumption due to pain increased with age.


About one third of the children and adolescents reported to use medications due to pain. Our results indicate a high percentage of children and adolescents with medication consumption due to pain. The experience of pain complaints and self-reported medication consumption due to pain increased with age of the children and adolescents, and requires further attention. Further studies are necessary to investigate medication consumption and health care utilization due to pain in the youth.

The author has no conflict of interest in connection with this abstract.