INTRODUCTION: The epidemiological studies of musculoskeletal (MS) pains rely on self‐reporting. However, validity of the questionnaires in relation to the clinical relevance of such self‐reported pains is not fully known. We investigated how self‐reported MS pains and health‐related quality of life (HRQoL) are associated in young adults.
METHODS: The study population consisted of a subgroup of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 at the age of 19 (n=874), who completed the 15D HRQoL questionnaire (score 0 to 1) and answered questions about six‐month period prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in neck, shoulder, low back, and peripheral location.
RESULTS: Half of the males and one third of the females reported a 15D score of at least 0.98, and were selected as the reference group in the multinomial logistic regression analysis. Young adults who reported multiple pains had significantly lower 15D scores than those reporting pain in only one location or no pain at all. After adjustments for psychosocial distress, parental occupation, and the young adults' own employment status, the reporting of single musculoskeletal pain (OR 3.3) and multiple pains (ORs up to 12.2) among females, and multiple pains (ORs up to 4.7) among males were associated with a 15D score of 0.94 or less.
DISCUSSION: The number of involved sites of self‐reported musculoskeletal pain was associated with the level of reduction in HRQoL among young adults.