Co-occurrence of unhealthy behaviours and psychosocial problems among adolescents, with special reference to low back and multisite musculoskeletal pains during adolescence and labour market exclusion in early adulthood

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Remote connection: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/66966725543

Topic of the dissertation

Co-occurrence of unhealthy behaviours and psychosocial problems among adolescents, with special reference to low back and multisite musculoskeletal pains during adolescence and labour market exclusion in early adulthood

Doctoral candidate

Licentiate of Medicine Eveliina Heikkala

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Research Center Oulu

Subject of study

Medicine

Opponent

Professor Clas-Håkan Nygård, University of Tampere

Custos

Professor Jaro Karppinen, University of Oulu

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Co-occurred unhealthy behaviours and psychosocial problems expose adolescents to musculoskeletal pains and predict labour market exclusion in early adulthood

The results of this doctoral dissertation pointed out that adolescents’ unhealthy behaviours and psychosocial problems co-occur and divide adolescents into distinct subgroups. Certain subgroups were observed to associate with low back pain and recurrent multisite musculoskeletal pain in adolescence and labour market exclusion in early adulthood.

Musculoskeletal pains are common already in adolescence. Most pains are harmless and transient. However, some pains may have a tendency to recur and become long-term. Musculoskeletal pains cause significant costs for society as a whole and decrease the health-related quality of life among individuals.

Most Finnish young and young adults are successfully integrated into the labour market. However, around 10–20% of them are unemployed and over 10% are out of both the education and labour markets. Labour market inclusion difficulties expose the young to later problems in labour market survival.

Eveliina Heikkala, MD, examined in her doctoral dissertation the co-occurrence of unhealthy behaviours and psychosocial problems among 15–16-year-old adolescents, and the associations of these co-occurred patterns with low back pain and recurrent multisite musculoskeletal pain between 16 and 19 years of age, and with labour market exclusion between the ages of 25 and 29. In addition, the role of multisite musculoskeletal pain in labour market exclusion was detected. The study population consisted of c. 7000 adolescents born in Northern Finland in 1985–1986.

The results of this doctoral dissertation showed that adolescents who had psychosocial problems often smoked and were subsequently physically active, or slept short times, were physically inactive and sat long times. These adolescents were at an increased risk of low back and recurrent multisite musculoskeletal pains in adolescence and labour market exclusion in early adulthood. Obese adolescents, with moderate levels of physical inactivity, had an increased risk of low back pain and labour market exclusion. Adolescents, who slept short times, sat long times and were physically inactive were at an increased risk of recurrent multisite musculoskeletal pain and labour market exclusion. Multisite musculoskeletal pain in adolescence did not predict labour market exclusion in early adulthood.
Last updated: 3.5.2020