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Child health
Maternal dominance and reliance on over-the-counter analgesia can hinder development of healthy coping strategies for adolescents in pain
  1. Amelia Swift
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amelia Swift, Department of Nursing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; A.Swift{at}

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Commentary on: Skarstein S, Lagerløv P, Kvarme LG, et al. Pain and development of identity in adolescents who frequently use over-the-counter analgesics: a qualitative study. J Clin Nurs 2018;27:3583–91. doi:10.1111/jocn.14513

Implications for practice and research

  • A mother’s pain beliefs are influential in shaping an adolescents beliefs, behaviours and coping strategies.

  • There is a historical pattern of pain beliefs and behaviour within families.

  • Further qualitative exploration is needed using co-design, a more diverse group and involvement of fathers.


Chronic pain affects more than 15% of able-bodied adolescents and 27% of those with disabilities.1 Adolescents frequently use over-the-counter analgesics (OTCA): this paper contends that reliance on analgesia limits the opportunity for development of healthier coping strategies.2 A child’s development shapes the way he or she understands and expresses pain. Koslowska3 explains this …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.