University of Oulu

Heikkala, E., Oura, P., Karppinen, J. et al. Family structure and multisite musculoskeletal pain in adolescence: a Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 study. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 24, 185 (2023).

Family structure and multisite musculoskeletal pain in adolescence : a Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 study

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Author: Heikkala, Eveliina1,2,3; Oura, Petteri2,4; Karppinen, Jaro2,4,5;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Population Health, University of Oulu, PO Box 8000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, 90014, Oulu, Finland
3Wellbeing Services, County of Lapland, 96400, Rovaniemi, Finland
4Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Rehabilitation Services of South Karelia Social and Health Care District, 53130, Lappeenranta, Finland
6Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
7MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove, BS8 2BN, Bristol, UK
8Primary Health Care Services, City of Espoo, 02070, Espoo, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-24


Background: Family structure is suggested to be associated with adolescent pain, but evidence on its association with multisite MS pain is sparse. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the potential associations between family structure (‘single-parent family’, ‘reconstructed family’, and ‘two-parent family’) and multisite musculoskeletal (MS) pain in adolescence.

Methods: The dataset was based on the 16-year-old Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 adolescents with available data on family structure, multisite MS pain, and a potential confounder (n = 5,878). The associations between family structure and multisite MS pain were analyzed with binomial logistic regression and modelled as unadjusted, as the evaluated potential confounder, mother’s educational level, did not meet the criteria for a confounder.

Results: Overall, 13% of the adolescents had a ‘single-parent family’ and 8% a ‘reconstructed family’. Adolescents living in a single-parent family had 36% higher odds of multisite MS pain compared to adolescents from two-parent families (the reference) (Odds Ratio [OR]: 1.36, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.17 to 1.59). Belonging to a ‘reconstructed family’ was associated with 39% higher odds of multisite MS pain (OR 1.39, 1.14 to 1.69).

Conclusion: Family structure may have a role in adolescent multisite MS pain. Future research is needed on causality between family structure and multisite MS pain, to establish if there is a need for targeted support.

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Series: BMC musculoskeletal disorders
ISSN: 1471-2474
ISSN-E: 1471-2474
ISSN-L: 1471-2474
Volume: 24
Issue: 1
Article number: 185
DOI: 10.1186/s12891-023-06294-0
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: The NFBC1986 has received the following funding: EU QLG1-CT-2000-01643 (EUROBLCS) Grant no. E51560, NorFA Grant no. 731, 20056, 30167, and USA / NIH 2000 G DF682 Grant no. 50945. Annie Herbert was supported by Medical Research Council UK grant MR/S002634/1. Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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