Chronic Pain in School-aged Children in Ireland: Results From the PRIME-C Study on Prevalence, Impact and Economic Costs


  • S. O’Higgins
  • S. Hayes
  • E. Doherty
  • S. NicGabhainn
  • P. MacNeelaP
  • A. Murphy
  • T. Kropmans
  • C. O’Neill
  • B. McGuire


Background: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, impact and economic costs of chronic pain in school–aged children (5-12 years) in Ireland. Method: Data collected from 3000 primary school children and their caregivers in Ireland. Data was collected on prevalence, impact (using the KINDL to measure health-related quality of life [HRQoL]) and healthcare costs. Findings: Overall, 9% of children aged 5-12 years reported having chronic pain, with a higher prevalence among girls and older children. In terms of HRQoL, children aged 5-8 years (n=1422) with chronic pain were significantly more likely to feel alone and not get along as well with their parents. Children with chronic pain aged 9-12 were significantly more likely to feel bored, feel alone, feel scared, feel different, worry about doing school work than children without chronic pain. In terms of cost, childhood chronic pain incurs an incremental increase in family healthcare costs of up to €500 per year. Discussion: This is the first study to explore chronic pain extensively in children in Ireland. Results suggest that chronic pain occurs in up to 10% of children and impacts on several aspects of QoL