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1.  Musculoskeletal pain in Arctic indigenous and non-indigenous adolescents, prevalence and associations with psychosocial factors: a population-based study 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:617.
Pain is common in otherwise healthy adolescents. In recent years widespread musculoskeletal pain, in contrast to single site pain, and associating factors has been emphasized. Musculoskeletal pain has not been examined in Arctic indigenous adolescents. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of widespread musculoskeletal pain and its association with psychosocial factors, with emphasis on gender- and ethnic differences (Sami vs. non-Sami), and the influence of pain related functional impairment.
This is a cross-sectional study based on The Norwegian Arctic Adolescent Health Study; a school-based survey responded by 4,881 10th grade students (RR: 83%) in North Norway, in 2003–2005. 10% were indigenous Sami. Musculoskeletal pain was based on reported pain in the head, shoulder/neck, back and/or arm/knee/leg, measured by the number of pain sites. Linear multiple regression was used for the multivariable analyses.
The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain was high, and significantly higher in females. In total, 22.4% reported 3–4 pain sites. We found a strong association between musculoskeletal pain sites and psychosocial problems, with a higher explained variance in those reporting pain related functional impairment and in females. There were no major differences in the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in Sami and non-Sami, however the associating factors differed somewhat between the indigenous and non-indigenous group. The final multivariable model, for the total sample, explained 21.2% of the variance of musculoskeletal pain. Anxiety/depression symptoms was the dominant factor associated with musculoskeletal pain followed by negative life events and school-related stress.
Anxiety/depression, negative life events, and school-related stress were the most important factors associated with musculoskeletal pain, especially in those reporting pain related functional impairment. The most important sociocultural aspect is the finding that the indigenous Sami are not worse off.
PMCID: PMC4071791  PMID: 24939210
Musculoskeletal pain; Adolescents; Psychosomatic; Somatization; Psychosocial; Emotional problems; Nordic; Sami; Indigenous
2.  Self-rated health among Greenlandic Inuit and Norwegian Sami adolescents: associated risk and protective correlates 
International Journal of Circumpolar Health  2013;72:10.3402/ijch.v72i0.19793.
Self-rated health (SRH) and associated risk and protective correlates were investigated among two indigenous adolescent populations, Greenlandic Inuit and Norwegian Sami.
Cross-sectional data were collected from “Well-being among Youth in Greenland” (WBYG) and “The Norwegian Arctic Adolescent Health Study” (NAAHS), conducted during 2003–2005 and comprising 10th and 11th graders, 378 Inuit and 350 Sami.
SRH was assessed by one single item, using a 4-point and 5-point scale for NAAHS and WBYG, respectively. Logistic regressions were performed separately for each indigenous group using a dichotomous measure with “very good” (NAAHS) and “very good/good” (WBYG) as reference categories. We simultaneously controlled for various socio-demographics, risk correlates (drinking, smoking, violence and suicidal behaviour) and protective correlates (physical activity, well-being in school, number of close friends and adolescent–parent relationship).
A majority of both Inuit (62%) and Sami (89%) youth reported “good” or “very good” SRH. The proportion of “poor/fair/not so good” SRH was three times higher among Inuit than Sami (38% vs. 11%, p≤0.001). Significantly more Inuit females than males reported “poor/fair” SRH (44% vs. 29%, p≤0.05), while no gender differences occurred among Sami (12% vs. 9%, p≤0.08). In both indigenous groups, suicidal thoughts (risk) and physical activity (protective) were associated with poor and good SRH, respectively.
In accordance with other studies of indigenous adolescents, suicidal thoughts were strongly associated with poorer SRH among Sami and Inuit. The Inuit–Sami differences in SRH could partly be due to higher “risk” and lower “protective” correlates among Inuit than Sami. The positive impact of physical activity on SRH needs to be targeted in future intervention programs.
PMCID: PMC3567202  PMID: 23396865
adolescents; Arctic; indigenous; Inuit; protective factors; risk factors; Sami; self-rated health (SRH); suicidal behaviours
4.  IQ as a moderator of outcome in severity of children’s mental health status after treatment in outpatient clinics 
Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for mental health disorders, but even with the most efficacious treatment, many patients do not experience improvement. Moderator analysis can identify the conditions under which treatment is effective or whether there are factors that can attenuate the effects of treatment.
In this study, linear mixed model analysis was used to examine whether the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ), Performance IQ (PIQ) and Verbal IQ (VIQ) on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Third Edition, moderated outcomes in general functioning and symptom load. A total of 132 patients treated at three outpatient child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) were assessed at three different time points. The Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) and the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA) were used to measure the severity of impairments in general functioning and symptom load. IQ was assessed at the start of treatment.
Moderator analysis revealed that the FSIQ × time interaction predicted changes in CGAS scores (p < .01), and that the PIQ × time interaction predicted changes in HoNOSCA scores (p < .05). The slopes and intercepts in HoNOSCA scores covaried negatively and significantly (p < .05). The same pattern was not detected for the CGAS scores (p = .08).
FISQ and PIQ moderated change in general functioning and symptom load, respectively. This implies that patients with higher IQ scores had a steeper improvement slope than those with lower scores. The patients with the highest initial symptom loads showed the greatest improvement, this pattern was not found in the improvement of general functioning.
PMCID: PMC3464132  PMID: 22676055
5.  Agreement on Web-based Diagnoses and Severity of Mental Health Problems in Norwegian Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services 
This study examined the agreement between diagnoses and severity ratings assigned by clinicians using a structured web-based interview within a child and adolescent mental health outpatient setting.
Information on 100 youths was obtained from multiple informants through a web-based Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). Based on this information, four experienced clinicians independently diagnosed (according to the International Classification of Diseases Revision 10) and rated the severity of mental health problems according to the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA) and the Children’s Global Assessment Scale (C-GAS).
Agreement for diagnosis was κ=0.69-0.82. Intra-class correlation for single measures was 0.78 for HoNOSCA and 0.74 for C-GAS, and 0.93 and 0.92, respectively for average measures.
Agreement was good to excellent for all diagnostic categories. Agreement for severity was moderate, but improved to substantial when the average of the ratings given by all clinicians was considered. Therefore, we conclude that experienced clinicians can assign reliable diagnoses and assess severity based on DAWBA data collected online.
PMCID: PMC3343321  PMID: 22582083
Web-based; telepsychiatry; DAWBA; HoNOSCA; C-GAS.
6.  The strengths and difficulties questionnaire as a screening instrument for norwegian child and adolescent mental health services, application of UK scoring algorithms 
The use of screening instruments can reduce waiting lists and increase treatment capacity. The aim of this study was to examine the usefulness of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) with the original UK scoring algorithms, when used as a screening instrument to detect mental health disorders among patients in the Norwegian Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) North Study.
A total of 286 outpatients, aged 5 to 18 years, from the CAMHS North Study were assigned diagnoses based on a Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). The main diagnostic groups (emotional, hyperactivity, conduct and other disorders) were then compared to the SDQ scoring algorithms using two dichotomisation levels: 'possible' and 'probable' levels. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and diagnostic odds ratio (ORD) were calculated.
Sensitivity for the diagnostic categories included was 0.47-0.85 ('probable' dichotomisation level) and 0.81-1.00 ('possible' dichotomisation level). Specificity was 0.52-0.87 ('probable' level) and 0.24-0.58 ('possible' level). The discriminative ability, as measured by ORD, was in the interval for potentially useful tests for hyperactivity disorders and conduct disorders when dichotomised on the 'possible' level.
The usefulness of the SDQ UK-based scoring algorithms in detecting mental health disorders among patients in the CAMHS North Study is only partly supported in the present study. They seem best suited to identify children and adolescents who do not require further psychiatric evaluation, although this as well is problematic from a clinical point of view.
PMCID: PMC3207884  PMID: 21992589
7.  Clinician-rated mental health in outpatient child and adolescent mental health services: associations with parent, teacher and adolescent ratings 
Clinician-rated measures are used extensively in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). The Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA) is a short clinician-rated measure developed for ordinary clinical practice, with increasing use internationally. Several studies have investigated its psychometric properties, but there are few data on its correspondence with other methods, rated by other informants. We compared the HoNOSCA with the well-established Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) questionnaires: the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Teacher's Report Form (TRF), and the Youth Self-Report (YSR).
Data on 153 patients aged 6-17 years at seven outpatient CAMHS clinics in Norway were analysed. Clinicians completed the HoNOSCA, whereas parents, teachers, and adolescents filled in the ASEBA forms. HoNOSCA total score and nine of its scales were compared with similar ASEBA scales. With a multiple regression model, we investigated how the ASEBA ratings predicted the clinician-rated HoNOSCA and whether the different informants' scores made any unique contribution to the prediction of the HoNOSCA scales.
We found moderate correlations between the total problems rated by the clinicians (HoNOSCA) and by the other informants (ASEBA) and good correspondence between eight of the nine HoNOSCA scales and the similar ASEBA scales. The exception was HoNOSCA scale 8 psychosomatic symptoms compared with the ASEBA somatic problems scale. In the regression analyses, the CBCL and TRF total problems scores together explained 27% of the variance in the HoNOSCA total scores (23% for the age group 11-17 years, also including the YSR). The CBCL provided unique information for the prediction of the HoNOSCA total score, HoNOSCA scale 1 aggressive behaviour, HoNOSCA scale 2 overactivity or attention problems, HoNOSCA scale 9 emotional symptoms, and HoNOSCA scale 10 peer problems; the TRF for all these except HoNOSCA scale 9 emotional symptoms; and the YSR for HoNOSCA scale 9 emotional symptoms only.
This study supports the concurrent validity of the HoNOSCA. It also demonstrates that parents, teachers and adolescents all contribute unique information in relation to the clinician-rated HoNOSCA, indicating that the HoNOSCA ratings reflect unique perspectives from multiple informants.
PMCID: PMC3003627  PMID: 21108776
8.  Health service use in indigenous Sami and non-indigenous youth in North Norway: A population based survey 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:378.
This is the first population based study exploring health service use and ethno-cultural factors in indigenous Sami and non-Sami youth in North Norway. The first aim of the present study was to compare the frequency of health service use between Sami adolescents and their non-indigenous peers. The second aim was to explore the relationships between health service use and ethno-cultural factors, such as ethnic context, Sami self-identification, perceived discrimination and Sami language competence. Finally, we wanted to explore the relationship between use of health services and emotional and behavioural problems.
The Norwegian Arctic Adolescent Health Study was conducted among 10th graders (15-16 years old) in junior high schools in North Norway. The sample consisted of 4,449 adolescents, of whom 450 (10.1%) were indigenous Sami and 3,999 (89.9%) were non-Sami.
Sami and non-Sami youth used all health services with equal frequency. However, several ethno-cultural factors were found to influence health service use. Sami youth in more assimilated ethnic contexts used general practitioners more than non-Sami youth. Youth with Sami self-identification had a higher probability of using the school health service compared with other youth. Ethnic barriers to health service use were also identified. Sami speaking youth with a high degree of perceived discrimination had lower probability of using school health services than non-Sami speaking youth. Sami youth with conduct problems were less likely than non-Sami to use psychologist/psychiatrist. The present study demonstrated a relationship between health need and actual health service use.
Culture-specific factors influenced the help-seeking process in indigenous youth; some factors acted as barriers against health service use and other factors increased the probability of health service use.
PMCID: PMC2765965  PMID: 19814791

Results 1-8 (8)