Journal List > Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr > v.2(1) > 1110606

Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999 Mar;2(1):21-29. Korean.
Published online Mar 31, 1999.
Copyright © 1999 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
A Study on Epidemiologic Characteristics of Recurrent Abdominal Pain in Elementary School Children
Sang Hyun Oh, Eun Seok Yang, Sang Kee Park, Young Bong Park, Jong Park, Sang Hak Park and Kyung Rye Moon
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Kwangju, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Kwangju, Korea.
Department of Psychology, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Kwangju, Korea.


The aims of this study are to examine clinical characteristics, patterns of medical care utilization, and factors which determine medical care utilization of elementary school children with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), to find possible factors influencing the onset and the course of the disorder.


We performed questionnaires in Kwangju on children from two primary schools from June, 1 1998 to June 30 and carried out statistical analysis.


1) Total number of questionnaires were 1417. 715 were male and 702 were female and the ratio of male to female was 1.02 : 1. Average age was 10.3 years. 2) 268 children had RAP (18.9%), boys 132 (18.4%), girls136 (19.2%). 3) The duration of the pain within 10 minutes was 68.5%. 178 children with RAP (66.3%) visited the doctor, The utilization pattern of medical facilities of the pupils with RAP; the most frequently utilized medical facility was pediatrics (35.2%) and the order ran as infernal medicine (31.5%), and pharmacy (29.25). The utilization pattern of medical facilities for the older students; the utilization rate of pediatrics decreased, but internal medicine increased. The major factors affecting the selection of the medical facility were geographic accessibility, kindness of the personnel, good results and traffic convenience. 4) Symptoms which were accompanied with abdominal pain were headache (44.5%), chest pain (28.2%), dizziness (26.6%), vomiting (9%), and 119 children (44.5%) had no accompanied symptoms. 5) In 95 children (35.3%) abdominal pain, occured at postprandial time, in 55 children (20.5%) before meal and in 39 children (14.7%) at school. The highest incidence rate of RAP was observed on Monday (21.4%), and the lowest on Saturday (8.7%). 6) The most frequent involved part of the abdomen was periumbrical area (38%) and the order ran as epigastrium and suprapubic area. The most frequent characteristics of abdominal pain were burning pain (36.9%) and the order ran as dull, cramping and colicky pain.


RAP is a frequent disease entitiy in children. Too many times children with RAP are treated by other departments instead of Pediatrics. A child has a peculiar growth and development which is different to those from an adult with advancing years. So, it is necessary to choose special medical care and an adequate medical facility.

Keywords: Recurrent abdominal pain; Utilization pattern; Medical facility