Trends in multiple recurrent health complaints in 15-year-olds in 35 countries in Europe, North America and Israel from 1994 to 2010

the Positive Health Focus Group, Inese Gobina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Health complaints are a good indicator of an individual's psychosocial health and well-being. Studies have shown that children and adolescents report health complaints which can cause significant individual burden. Methods: Using data from the international Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study, this article describes trends in multiple recurrent health complaints (MHC) in 35 countries among N = 237 136 fifteen-year-olds from 1994 to 2010. MHC was defined as the presence of two or more health complaints at least once a week. Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate trends across the five survey cycles for each country. Results: Lowest prevalence throughout the period 1994-2010 was 16.9% in 1998 in Austria and highest in 2006 in Israel (54.7%). Overall, six different trend patterns could be identified: No linear or quadratic trend (9 countries), linear decrease (7 countries), linear increase (5 countries), U-shape (4 countries), inverted U-shape (6 countries) and unstable (4 countries). Conclusion: Trend analyses are valuable in providing hints about developments in populations as well as for benchmarking and evaluation purposes. The high variation in health complaints between the countries requires further investigation, but may also reflect the subjective nature of health complaints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-27
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume25
Issue numberS2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

Field of Science

  • 3.3 Health sciences
  • 3.5 Other medical sciences

Publication Type

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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