Association of depressive symptoms with consumption of analgesics among adolescents

Momota Hena, Cherry Leung, Eva Clausson, Pernilla Garmy

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review

13 Citeringar (Scopus)
7 Nedladdningar (Pure)


PURPOSE: To investigate the prevalence of depressive symptoms, pain (headaches and stomachaches), and analgesic consumption in addition to the association between depressive symptoms and analgesic consumption among adolescents.

DESIGN AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted in southern Sweden. The survey was distributed among students in grade 8 (aged 13-15 years, n = 878).

RESULTS: The prevalence of depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale ≥16) was 37% among girls and 13% among boys. The prevalence rate of analgesic consumption to ease headaches and/or stomachaches during the last several weeks was 57% among girls and 29% among boys. Depressive symptoms are significantly associated with analgesic consumption among adolescents even after controlling for pain.

CONCLUSION: The knowledge that there is a higher use of analgesics in adolescents with depressive symptoms implies that healthcare professionals should focus on complex psychosocial problems, not only physiological pain, in adolescents.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Over the counter analgesics are frequently used by adolescents. Head and stomachaches are common reasons for students to visit the school nurse and primary healthcare facility. School nurses and pediatric nurses have to be aware of the link between depressive symptoms and pain in addition to the higher use of analgesics in adolescents with depressive symptoms. It is important to reduce the cause of the pain in order to prevent depressive symptoms and also analgesic overuse.

Sidor (från-till)E19-E23
TidskriftJournal of Pediatric NursingNursing Care of Children and Families
StatusPublicerad - 2019

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