Somatization, Fatigue, and Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents with Chronic Pain

  • Rika M. L. MeyerEmail author
  • Katie M. Fleischman
  • Christina M. Young
  • Jeffrey I. Gold
Original Paper



We examined whether somatization of symptoms worsens the association between fatigue and quality of life in children and adolescents with chronic pain.


Fifty-three girls and 16 boys with chronic pain (Mage = 13.58, SD = 2.70) completed the Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) scale to measure quality of life, the PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale, and the Children’s Somatization Inventory Revised.


We found significant main effects for all types of fatigue (general, sleep/rest, and cognitive fatigue) and higher somatization, which all significantly predicted lower total quality of life. However, these results evidenced only significant interactions between cognitive fatigue and somatization on total quality of life, including physical health and school functioning. Participants with both high somatization and high cognitive fatigue reported lower total quality of life, physical health, and school functioning. On the other hand, low somatization buffered the effects of cognitive fatigue on total quality of life, physical health, and school functioning.


The results of our study highlight the importance of addressing and decreasing somatization in children and adolescents with chronic pain, which may decrease the likelihood of higher cognitive fatigue predicting lower quality of life.


Chronic pain Somatization Fatigue Cognitive fatigue Quality of life 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rika M. L. Meyer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katie M. Fleischman
    • 2
  • Christina M. Young
    • 3
  • Jeffrey I. Gold
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent DevelopmentCalifornia State University, NorthridgeNorthridgeUSA
  2. 2.Boston Children’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Young NeuroSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Anesthesiology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesKeck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, The Saban Research Institute at Children’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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