Table 1

 Clinical characteristics

Clinical characteristicsGirlsBoysTotal group
*There is overlap between consultations; a child can have consulted several specialists, for instance both a general practitioner and a paediatrician.
†Gender difference in current pain intensity: p = 0.001 (Mann-Whitney U, z = −3.2).
‡Paramedic specialists include: physiotherapist, psychologist, complementary medicine, remedial educationalist, speech therapist, social services, or other.
Number (n, %)109 (73)40 (27)149 (100)
Referred for primary paediatric care (GP group)32 (64)18 (36)50 (100)
Referred for academic evaluation (C group)77 (78)22 (22)99 (100)
Age in years (mean, SD)12.0 (2.6)11.3 (2.7)11.8 (2.6)
Presenting symptom (n, %)
    Abdominal pain (n, %)35 (32)12 (30)47 (32)
    Headache (n, %)20 (18)12 (30)32 (21)
    Musculoskeletal pain (n, %)51 (47)15 (38)66 (44)
    Other (n, %)2 (2)1 (2)4 (3)
Duration of pain in months (median, range)12 (3–144)12 (3–120)12 (3–144)
Number of previously visited physicians (median, range)2.0 (0–5)2.0 (1–5)2.0 (0–5)
    General practitioner (n, %)*102 (94)36 (90)138 (93)
    Paediatrician (non-academic) (n, %)*46 (42)13 (33)59 (40)
    Other specialist (n, %)*58 (53)22 (55)80 (54)
    Academic specialist other than paediatrician (n, %)*13 (12)3 (8)16 (11)
VAS current pain (mean, SD)5.2 (3.1)3.3 (2.8)†4.7 (3.1)
VAS pain previous days (mean, SD)7.3 (2.5)6.4 (3.4)7.1 (2.8)
Number of previously visited paramedic specialists (median, range)‡1.0 (0–4)1.0 (0–3)1.0 (0–4)