Quality of life, school backpack weight, and nonspecific low back pain in children and adolescents Please cite this article as: Macedo RB, Coelho-e-Silva MJ, Sousa NF, Valente-dos-Santos J, Machado-Rodrigues AM, Cumming SP, et al. Quality of life, school backpack weight, and nonspecific low back pain in children and adolescents. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2015;91:263-9.

Rosangela B. Macedo Manuel J. Coelho-e-Silva Nuno F. Sousa João Valente-dos-Santos Aristides M. Machado-Rodrigues Sean P. Cumming Alessandra V. Lima Rui S. Gonçalves Raul A. Martins About the authors


To describe the degree of disability, anthropometric variables, quality of life (QoL), and school backpack weight in boys and girls aged 11-17 years. The differences in QoL between those who did or did not report low back pain (LBP) were also analyzed.


Eighty-six girls (13.9 ± 1.9 years of age) and 63 boys (13.7 ± 1.7 years of age) participated. LBP was assessed by questionnaire, and disability using the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire. QoL was assessed by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). Multivariate analyses of variance and covariance were used to assess differences between groups.


Girls reported higher disability than boys (p = 0.01), and lower QoL in the domains of physical (p < 0.001) and emotional functioning (p < 0.01), psychosocial health (p = 0.02) and physical health summary score (p < 0.001), and on the total PedsQL score (p < 0.01). School backpack weight was similar in both genders (p = 0.61) and in participants with and without LBP (p = 0.15). After adjustments, participants with LBP reported lower physical functioning (p < 0.01), influencing lower physical health summary score (p < 0.01).


Girls had higher disability and lower QoL than boys in the domains of physical and emotional functioning, psychosocial health, and physical health summary scores, and on the total PedsQL score; however, similar school backpack weight was reported. Participants with LBP revealed lower physical functioning and physical health summary score, yet had similar school backpack weight to those without LBP.

Quality of life; Nonspecific low back pain; Children and adolescents; School backpack

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