Non-specific Health complaints and self-rated health in pre-adolescents; impact on primary health care use

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The objective of the present study was to explore past and future primary health care use in preadolescents reporting frequent non-specific health complaints or a low self-rated health compared to that of preadolescents with no frequent health complaints or with good self-rated health. The study was conducted as a cohort study based within the Danish National Birth Cohort (1996–2002). Information on non-specific health complaints and self-rated health was obtained by an 11-year follow-up questionnaire. Information about number of general practitioner (GP) contacts was obtained from the Health Insurance Service Register. A total of 44,877 pre-adolescents gave complete exposure information. Pre-adolescents who reported frequent non-specific health complaints had a higher use of GP compared to pre-adolescents without complaints across the five years following the index date (somatic complaints: IRR = (1.46 [1.38; 1.55], mental complaints: IRR = 1.16 [1.12; 1.19], both complaints: IRR = 1.58 [1.47; 1.69]). The same pattern was found for the association between low self-rated health and number of GP contacts (IRR = 1.41 (1.36; 1.46)). Non-specific health complaints and a poor self-rated health in pre-adolescents was associated with a higher past and future use of GP, indicating a need for development of early interventions with help for symptom management.

TidsskriftScientific Reports
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2020

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