British secondary school students report frequent abdominal pain with associated physical and emotional symptoms
- Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Correspondence to: Dr Miguel Saps
Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 225 E Chicago Avenue, Box 65, Chicago, IL 60611, USA;
Commentary on: Vila M, Kramer T, Obiols JE, et al. Abdominal pain in British young people: associations, impairment and health care use. J Psychosom Res 2012;73:437–42.
Implications for practice and research
Abdominal pain is common in children, and frequently associated with anxiety, depression, school absenteeism and physical complaints such as headache and limb pain.
Assessment and treatment of children with abdominal pain should be underpinned by a biopsychosocial approach.
Functional abdominal pain research should use standardised research tools and definitions such as the Rome III criteria.
Between 20% and 40% of school children have weekly abdominal pain accounting for 2–4% of childhood medical consultations in the USA.1 ,2 Most abdominal pain is functional; no anatomical, biochemical or structural abnormalities are found. The health system burden and impairment of affected children remains poorly understood. Studies cannot be accurately extrapolated across countries, cultures and …