Objectives. To study the association of musculoskeletal pain
with emotional and behavioral problems, especially depressive
symptoms in Finnish preadolescents.
Study Design. A structured pain questionnaire was completed
by 1756 third- and fifth-grade schoolchildren for identifying children
with widespread pain (WSP), children with neck pain (NP), and
pain-free controls for the comparative study. There were 124
children with WSP (mean age, 10.7 years), 108 children with NP
(mean age, 11.1 years), and 131 controls (mean age, 10.7
years) who completed the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI)
and a sleep questionnaire. A blinded clinical examination was
done to detect fibromyalgia. For parental evaluation, the
Child Behavior Checklist and a sociodemographic questionnaire
were used. For teacher evaluation the Teacher Report Form was
Results. Children with WSP had significantly higher
total emotional and behavioral scores than controls, according
to child and parent evaluation. A significant difference in
the mean total CDI scores was also found between the WSP and
NP groups. Children with fibromyalgia had significantly higher
CDI scores than the other children with WSP.
Conclusions. Musculoskeletal pain, especially fibromyalgia, and
depressive symptoms had high comorbidity. Pain and depressive
symptoms should be recognized to prevent a chronic pain problem.