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J Rheumatol. 2004 Sep;31(9):1840-6.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: parent-child discrepancy on reports of pain and disability.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Peri-Operative Medicine, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, Oregon, USA.



To examine the incidence and nature of disagreements about pain and functional disability between parents and their children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and to identify demographic and psychosocial predictors of parent-child disagreement about pain and functional disability.


Participants comprised 63 children 8-16 years of age (mean 12.36 +/- 2.61) and their parents, followed as part of a longitudinal study of pain in children. During routine rheumatology clinic visits, children and their parents completed validated measures of pain, depressive symptoms, and functional disability.


Parents and children often disagreed as to the frequency and intensity of pain and to the degree of disability caused by arthritis. Child depressive symptoms (p < 0.01) and parental perceptions of child limitations (p < 0.02) predicted parent-child disagreement about the frequency of the child's pain. Parental perceptions of child limitations also predicted parent-child disagreement about the child's level of functional disability (p < 0.04). Those children who estimated their level of disability to be different than their parents' rating also were more depressed compared to children who agreed with their parents about their level of disability (p < 0.01).


Discrepancy between parent and child reports of pain and disability in children with JIA is common. Findings suggest that such disagreements in reporting of pain and functional disability by parents and their children with JIA are associated with underlying depressive symptoms in children.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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