Study limitations include the cross-sectional design and lack of prospective data; therefore, the risk of retrospective reporting bias of mental disorders and chronic pain should be taken into account.
Strengths of the study include its large nationally representative sample, the use of full diagnostic interview with high quality criteria for surveying a full range of mental disorders, and the combination of responses by both adolescents and their parents.
The researchers emphasized that future studies should aim to shed light on the possible causal relationship between mental disorders and chronic pain as well as any underlying biological, psychological, and behavioral mechanisms in order to better detect comorbidity between the two.They further note that interdisciplinary preventive approaches and interventions are urgently needed.
1. Tegethoff M, Belardi A, Stalujanis E, Meinlschmidt G. Comorbidity of Mental Disorders and Chronic Pain: Chronology of Onset in Adolescents of a National Representative Cohort. The Journal of Pain. 2015; doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2015.06.009.