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Scandinavian Journal of Pain

Official Journal of the Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain

Editor-in-Chief: Werner, Mads

CiteScore 2018: 0.85

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.494
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.427

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Volume 19, Issue 3


Test-retest repeatability of questionnaire for pain symptoms for school children aged 10–15 years

Katariina P. Pirnes
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Sport and Health Science, University of Jyväskylä, Seminaarinkatu 15, Jyväskylän Yliopisto 40014, Finland
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jouni Kallio / Kirsti Siekkinen / Harto Hakonen / Arja Häkkinen
  • Faculty of Sport and Health Science, University of Jyväskylä, Seminaarinkatu 15, Jyväskylän Yliopisto 40014, Finland
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Tuija Tammelin
Published Online: 2019-03-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sjpain-2018-0338


Background and aims

There is a growing body of evidence, that pain is common at school age. Less is known about the repeatability of pain questionnaires for children. This study aimed to assess the test-retest repeatability of the Finnish version of the electronic pain questionnaire for school-aged children.


Primary (n = 79) and lower secondary (n = 127) schoolchildren aged 10–15 years from two schools from the Jyväskylä region of Finland, filled in an electronic questionnaire twice in an interval of 2 weeks. It captured the frequency of pain symptoms with a five-point Likert-scale questionnaire covering nine areas of the body for the last 3 months. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values 0.40–0.59 reflected fair and 0.60–0.74 good repeatability.


The highest prevalences of pain were in the head (29%) and neck and shoulder (NS) (23%) areas. ICC values showed good repeatability for questions about pain frequency in the head, NS and lower extremities. In primary school, these values were good in the lower extremities and fair in NS, lower back and the head. In lower secondary school, the ICC values were good in NS and the head, fair in the stomach and lower extremities.


This electronic questionnaire was an acceptably repeatable indicator to measure the frequency of pain in the most prevalent pain areas: the head and NS.


It is important to be aware of the impact of health-related outcomes on children’s ability to be successful in their lives. With the help of a simple electronic questionnaire, it is possible to cost-effectively capture, for example, the prevalence and frequency of pain during the school hours. The identification of children’s pain symptoms accurately provides more possibilities to prevent and to minimize the chronic pain among schoolchildren.

Keywords: pain; children; repeatability; questionnaire


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About the article

Received: 2018-11-19

Revised: 2019-02-08

Accepted: 2019-02-15

Published Online: 2019-03-27

Published in Print: 2019-07-26

Authors’ statements

Research funding: This study was funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the Juho Vainio Foundation.

Conflict of interest: Authors state no conflict of interest.

Informed consent: Informed consent has been obtained from all individuals included in this study.

Ethical approval: The study setting for the measurements in 2013–2015 was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Jyväskylä. Participants and their parents signed written informed consent forms before they participated in this study. All measurements were carried out in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Participation was voluntary and could be discontinued at any point during the research.

Citation Information: Scandinavian Journal of Pain, Volume 19, Issue 3, Pages 575–582, ISSN (Online) 1877-8879, ISSN (Print) 1877-8860, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sjpain-2018-0338.

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©2019 Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. All rights reserved..Get Permission

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