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J Adolesc Health. 2009 Aug;45(2):149-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2008.12.009. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

Sense of coherence and medicine use for headache among adolescents.

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Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



To examine the association between headache, sense of coherence (SOC), and medicine use for headaches in a community-based sample of adolescents.


Epidemiological cross-sectional study, encompassing 20 out of 23 schools in the network of health-promoting schools in the county of South Jutland, Denmark. The study population consisted of students from seventh and ninth grade, participation rate 93%, n=1393. The students answered questions on demographic variables, health behavior including medicine use, psychosocial health aspects, and sense of coherence, in an anonymous standardized questionnaire. The outcome measure was self-reported medicine use for headaches. The determinants were headache frequency and SOC measured by Wold and Torsheim's version for children of Antonovsky's 13-item SOC scale.


Analyses adjusted for age group, family social class, exposure to bullying, and headache frequency showed increasing odds for medicine use for headaches (hereafter: medicine use) by decreasing SOC. There was no association between SOC and medicine use among students with a rare experience of headaches but a significant and graded association among students with at least weekly experience of headaches, that is, frequency of headaches modified the association between SOC and medicine use.


We found that adolescents with low SOC used medicine to cope with headaches to a greater extent than adolescents with high SOC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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