Shraim, M, Blagojevic-Bucknall, M, Mallen, CD and Dunn, KM (2014) The association between GP consultations for non-specific physical symptoms in children and parents: a case-control study. PLoS One, 9 (9). e108039 -?.

The association between GP consultations for non-specific physical symptoms in children and parents: a case-control study.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (207kB) | Preview


BACKGROUND: Non-specific physical symptoms (NSPS) such as abdominal pain, headache and musculoskeletal pain are widespread in the community, and are common reasons for visiting a general practitioner (GP). Causes of NSPS are multifactorial, but may include parental influences. OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations between GP consultations for NSPS in parents and their children. METHODS: Matched case-control study using GP consultation data from 12 GP practices in the United Kingdom. Participants were 1328 children who consulted a GP for NSPS in 2009 (cases), 3980 controls who consulted a GP in 2009 but not for NSPS, plus parents of cases and controls (n = 8354). PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: child consultation status for NSPS. RESULTS: Maternal consultation for NSPS was associated with significantly increased odds of their child consulting for NSPS (odds ratio (OR) 1.51, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.33, 1.73); there was no significant association with paternal consultations (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.71, 1.08). Each additional maternal consultation for NSPS was associated with an increase in the rate ratio for number of consultations for NSPS in the child by 1.03 (95% CI 1.01, 1.05). This overall association was clearest in maternal-child consultations for painful NSPS and for specific bodily systems including gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and neurologic symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal GP consultation for NSPS is associated with increased odds of GP consultations for NSPS in children. This study included a large sample of children and parents and used medical records data which is not subject to recall bias. However, analysis was based on medical records, thus the presence of NSPS not leading to consultations is unknown. Medical practitioners managing children with NSPS need to be aware of this association.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Public Library of Science at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: adolescent, case-control studies, child, preschool, female, general practitioners, humans, male, odds ratio, pain, parents, referral and consultation, United Kingdom
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2017 15:53
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2017 15:53

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item