Gudrun Rohde, PhD and professor
Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Agder and Department of Clinical Research, Sorlandet Hospital

Based on theory and earlier research, we have seen that there is a positive association between how adolescents and their parents experience and cope with pain, and in how they rate their health related quality of life (HRQL), indicating possible family patterns. Based on this, we have an ongoing prospective study on adolescents and their parents from the general Norwegian population and on HRQL and pain in generations. This part of the study focuses on the parents. As for many adults, their role as a parent is a vital part of their life that may influence their HRQL and may vary with the age of their child. We used data collected at baseline, when the adolescents were aged 14–15 years (2019), and two years later in 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic was ongoing. We wanted to describe and compare sociodemographic and psychological factors, pain, and HRQL in parents of adolescents assessed in 2019 and 2021.

At both time points, the parents responded to a web-based questionnaire focusing on issues like HRQL, pain, stress, self-efficacy, self-esteem and loneliness. The results showed two main findings:

  1. During the two-year period, the parents reported more pain, were more lonely and their mental HRQL had decreased.
  2. Having paid work had a positive effect on changes in mental HRQL, while stress had the opposite effect.

Even though we identified more pain and loneliness, especially in mothers, the association with HRQL was of limited clinical significance and affected HRQL to a limited extent. The parents seemed to have resilience factors to cope, even during an ongoing pandemic.

Project Details

The parents were included based on their adolescent’s school belonging. In Norway most pupils attend public schools, both in rural and urban areas, and we selected schools with variations in size and locations. A random cluster sample was used and the target population was adolescents in a nonclinical setting and their parents from the southeastern part of Norway.

Among the parents responding to both time points, the majority had a university degree, were married/cohabiting and most were mothers. Our parent population might be considered rather selective, as most parents originated from a higher socio-economic class. In the future, special attention should be paid to vulnerable families with adolescents or parents with a broader variety in background variables.

Abstract will be presented in the Thursday Morning Poster Presentations: Slot 1 on 20 October, 10:05 am – 10:20 am. 

This newsletter editorial represents the views of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ISOQOL. 

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