Offering further evidence of the pervasive health effects of bullying, a survey of youths in Iceland has identified an association between being bullied and using pain medication.
Published this week in the journal Acta Paediatrica, the study found that pain medication use was significantly higher in bullied students than non-bullied students even when researchers controlled for amount of pain and for demographic factors such as age, gender and socioeconomic status. Bullied students also reported experiencing more pain in general.
The study results were based on responses to a standardized questionnaire completed anonymously by all Iceland students in grades 6, 8 and 10.
“Interventions aimed at reducing bullying and promoting health in schools are important and might reduce the use of analgesics in adolescents,” study co-author Pernilla Garmy of Kristianstad University in Sweden said in a news release.