The current study investigated the daily relationship between pain, activity restriction and depression in children and adolescents with chronic pain, and compared participants’ responses on diary and retrospective assessment measures.
Data collection included the administration of diary and retrospective measures of pain, activity restriction, and depression to 93 children with recurrent headache, juvenile chronic arthritis, and sickle cell disease. The study used HLM to examine the relationship between daily pain and activity restriction, and analyses compared participants’ responses on diary and retrospective assessment measures.
Using diary measures, daily pain intensity was related to children’s levels of activity restriction. Diary completion was predicted by age and diary-type, with younger children and children utilizing electronic diaries demonstrating higher compliance. Pain intensity was significantly higher on retrospective compared to diary measures, demonstrating inflation in retrospective reports of pain. No significant differences between measures of activity restriction emerged.
These preliminary results suggest that while retrospective reports of activity restriction may be an acceptable alternative to daily diary assessment for children with chronic pain, retrospective measures of pain intensity may show inflated pain levels. To provide support for the findings, longitudinal research comparing responses to diary versus retrospective measures is recommended.
chronic pain; activity restriction; depression; children; adolescents
Treatment options for sickle cell disease (SCD) pain could be tailored to pain locations. But few epidemiologic descriptions of SCD pain location exist; these are based on few subjects over short time periods. We examined whether SCD pain locations vary by disease genotype, gender, age, frequency of pain, depression, pain crisis or healthcare utilization.
We enrolled 308 adults with SCD in 2002–2004. Subjects kept daily pain diaries for up to 6 months, including a body chart. Analyses employed mixed model and generalized estimating equations.
260 subjects completed at least one body chart. An average of 3.3/16 sites (25%) were painful. The number of pain sites varied by age, depression, frequent pain days, crisis and unplanned hospital/ED utilization. Lower back, knee/shin and hip, hurt on average more than a third of pain days, while jaw and pelvis hurt on fewer than 10% of days. Odds of a crisis were increased substantially when pain was in the arm, shoulder, upper back, sternum, clavicle, chest or pelvis (OR>1.5) while the odds of unplanned utilization were substantially increased for the sternum, clavicle and chest (OR>2.0).
Pain in SCD varies considerably both within and between subjects, although it occurs most commonly in the lower back and lower extremities. The number and location of pain sites varies significantly by age, frequent pain, crisis and utilization. Identification and understanding of combinations of pain location and intensity may help to understand the etiology of SCD and improve SCD management.
Foot pain drawings (manikins) are commonly used to describe foot pain location in self-report health surveys. Respondents shade the manikin where they experience pain. The manikin is then scored via a transparent overlay that divides the drawings into areas. In large population based studies they are often scored by multiple raters. A difference in how different raters score manikins (inter-rater repeatability), or in how an individual rater scores manikins over time (intra-rater repeatability) can therefore affect data quality. This study aimed to assess inter- and intra-rater repeatability of scoring of the foot manikin.
A random sample was generated of 50 respondents to a large population based survey of adults aged 50 years and older who experienced foot pain and completed a foot manikin. Manikins were initially scored by any one of six administrative staff (Rating 1). These manikins were re-scored by a second rater (Rating 2). The second rater then re-scored the manikins one week later (Rating 3). The following scores were compared: Rating 1 versus Rating 2 (inter-rater repeatability), and Rating 2 versus Rating 3 (intra-rater repeatability). A novel set of clinically relevant foot pain regions made up of one or more individual areas on the foot manikin were developed, and assessed for inter- and intra-rater repeatability.
Scoring agreement of 100% (all 50 manikins) was seen in 69% (40 out of 58) of individual areas for inter-rater scoring (range 94 to 100%), and 81% (47 out of 58) of areas for intra-rater scoring (range 96 to 100%). All areas had a kappa value of ≥0.70 for inter- and intra-rater scoring. Scoring agreement of 100% was seen in 50% (10 out of 20) of pain regions for inter-rater scoring (range 96 to 100%), and 95% (19 out of 20) of regions for intra-rater scoring (range 98 to 100%). All regions had a kappa value of >0.70 for inter- and intra-rater scoring.
Individual and multiple raters can reliably score the foot pain manikin. In addition, our proposed regions may be used to reliably classify different patterns of foot pain using the foot manikin.
Foot pain; Pain drawings; Manikins; Reliability; Repeatability; Agreement
The impact of pain early in life is a salient issue for sickle cell disease (SCD), a genetic condition characterized by painful vaso-occlusive episodes (VOEs) that can begin in the first year of life and persist into adulthood. This study examined the effects of age and pain history (age of onset and frequency of recent VOEs) on acute procedural pain in children with SCD. Endothelin-1, a vaso-active peptide released during VOEs and acute tissue injury, and its precursor, Big Endothelin, were explored as markers of pain sensitization and vaso-occlusion. Sixty-one children with SCD (ages 2 to 18) underwent venipuncture at routine health visits. Procedural pain was assessed via child- and caregiver-reports and observational distress. Pain history was assessed using retrospective chart review. Three primary results were found: 1) younger age was associated with greater procedural pain across pain outcomes, 2) higher frequency of VOEs was associated with greater procedural pain based on observational distress (regardless of age), and 3) age was found to moderate the relationship between VOEs and procedural pain for child-reported pain and observational distress for children five years of age and older. Associations between the endothelin variables and pain prior to venipuncture were also observed.
sickle cell disease; procedural pain; sensitization; early pain; endothelin-1
The objectives of this study were to (1) compare the cost of medical evaluation for children with functional abdominal pain or irritable bowel syndrome brought to a pediatric gastroenterologist versus children who remained in the care of their pediatrician, (2) compare symptom characteristics for the children in primary versus tertiary care, and (3) examine if symptom characteristics predicted the cost of medical evaluation.
Eighty-nine children aged 7 to 10 years with functional abdominal pain or irritable bowel syndrome seen by a gastroenterologist (n = 46) or seen only by a pediatrician (n = 43) completed daily pain and stool diaries for 2 weeks. Mothers provided retrospective reports of their children’s symptoms in the previous year. Cost of medical evaluation was calculated via chart review of diagnostic tests and application of prices as if the patients were self-pay.
Child-reported diary data reflected no significant group differences with respect to pain, interference with activities, or stool characteristics. In contrast, mothers of children evaluated by a gastroenterologist viewed their children as having higher maximum pain intensity in the previous year. Excluding endoscopy costs, cost of medical evaluation was fivefold higher for children evaluated by a gastroenterologist, with higher cost across blood work, stool studies, breath testing, and diagnostic imaging. Symptom characteristics did not predict cost of care for either group.
Despite the lack of difference in symptom characteristics between children in primary and tertiary care, a notable differential in cost of evaluation exists in accordance with level of care. Symptom characteristics do not seem to drive diagnostic evaluation in either primary or tertiary care. Given the lack of differences in child-reported symptoms and the maternal perspective that children evaluated by a gastroenterologist had more severe pain, we speculate that parent perception of child symptoms may be a primary factor in seeking tertiary care.
recurrent abdominal pain; chronic abdominal pain; functional abdominal pain; irritable bowel syndrome; gastrointestinal symptoms; cost of care
Anti-TNF agents have proven efficacy in children with severe juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) who are unresponsive to standard therapy. Therefore pain reduction or elimination could be expected. The aim of this study was to compare the pain experience in children with JIA treated with anti-TNF agents (n = 41) or non-biologic standard treatment (n = 50).
All children completed a 2-week pain diary and, for children treated with anti-TNF agents, measures of pain-coping and pain-specific beliefs. Parents rated the child’s level of functional disability. Clinical data were collected from the pediatric rheumatologists.
No significant differences were found between the anti-TNF group and non-biologic standard treatment group for average pain score, number of children with daily pain reported in the pain diary, or level of functional disability. Significantly more children in the anti-TNF group reported no pain at all. Children undergoing standard treatment had significantly higher disease activity. Significant differences were found between the high pain patients treated with anti-TNF agents and the rest of the anti-TNF group in regards to their pain-specific beliefs of disability and harm, and the pain-coping strategy of catastrophizing.
These results indicate that a great proportion of children treated with anti-TNF agents respond well to the treatment in regards to disease activity and pain, but pain was still a problem for a subgroup of children though they were in remission with biological agents. More focus on pain management is needed.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Pain assessment; Pain management; Anti-TNF agents; DMARDs; Coping; Beliefs
Objective To conduct an evidence-based review of pediatric pain measures. Methods Seventeen measures were examined, spanning pain intensity self-report, questionnaires and diaries, and behavioral observations. Measures were classified as “Well-established,” “Approaching well-established,” or “Promising” according to established criteria. Information was highlighted to help professionals evaluate the instruments for particular purposes (e.g., research, clinical work). Results Eleven measures met criteria for “Well-established,” six “Approaching well-established,” and zero were classified as “Promising.” Conclusions There are a number of strong measures for assessing children's pain, which allows professionals options to meet their particular needs. Future directions in pain assessment are identified, such as highlighting culture and the impact of pain on functioning. This review examines the research and characteristics of some of the commonly used pain tools in hopes that the reader will be able to use this evidence-based approach and the information in future selection of assessment devices for pediatric pain.
assessment; interviews; observational; pain; pediatrics; self-report
Little is known about how sociodemographic factors relate to children’s chronic pain. This paper describes the pain, health, and sociodemographic characteristics of a cohort of children presenting to an urban tertiary chronic pain clinic and documents the role of age, sex and minority status on pain-related characteristics. A multidisciplinary, tertiary clinic specializing in pediatric chronic pain. Two hundred and nineteen patients and their parents were given questionnaire packets to fill out prior to their intake appointment which included demographic information, clinical information, Child Health Questionnaire – Parent Report, Functional Disability Index – Parent Report, Child Somatization Index – Parent Report, and a Pain Intensity Scale. Additional clinical information was obtained from patients’ medical records via chart review. This clinical sample exhibited compromised functioning in a number of domains, including school attendance, bodily pain, and health compared to normative data. Patients also exhibited high levels of functional disability. Minority children evidenced decreased sleep, increased somatization, higher levels of functional disability, and increased pain intensity compared to Caucasians. Caucasians were more likely to endorse headaches than minorities, and girls were more likely than boys to present with fibromyalgia. Younger children reported better functioning than did teens. The results indicate that sociodemographic factors are significantly associated with several pain-related characteristics in children with chronic pain. Further research must address potential mechanisms of these relationships and applications for treatment.
Chronic pain; pediatric; clinical cohort; ethnic differences
The fear-avoidance model of chronic musculoskeletal pain has become an increasingly popular conceptualization of the processes and mechanisms through which acute pain can become chronic. Despite rapidly growing interest and research regarding the influence of fear-avoidance constructs on pain-related disability in children and adolescents, there have been no amendments to the model to account for unique aspects of pediatric chronic pain. A comprehensive understanding of the role of fear-avoidance in pediatric chronic pain necessitates understanding of both child/adolescent and parent factors implicated in its development and maintenance. The primary purpose of the present article is to propose an empirically-based pediatric fear-avoidance model of chronic pain that accounts for both child/adolescent and parent factors as well as their potential interactive effects. To accomplish this goal, the present article will define important fear-avoidance constructs, provide a summary of the general fear-avoidance model and review the growing empirical literature regarding the role of fear-avoidance constructs in pediatric chronic pain. Assessment and treatment options for children with chronic pain will also be described in the context of the proposed pediatric fear-avoidance model of chronic pain. Finally, avenues for future investigation will be proposed.
Adolescents; Anxiety; Children; Fear-avoidance; Pain; Parent-child; Pediatric
Recent research has implicated pain-related fear in relation to functional outcomes in children with chronic pain. The current study examined fear of pain, disability, and depression within the context of an intensive pain rehabilitation program. One hundred and forty-five children and adolescents who participated in an intensive interdisciplinary pediatric pain rehabilitation day program were assessed in this study. Patients completed measures of pain intensity, pain-related fears, functional disability, and depressive symptoms at admission, discharge, and on average, two months post-discharge. After controlling for pain intensity, pain-related fear was significantly related to disability and depressive symptoms at all time points. As predicted, a decline in pain-related fear was significantly associated with a decrease in disability and depressive symptoms. Interestingly, high levels of pain-related fears at admission predicted less reduction in functional disability and depression at discharge, suggesting that high levels of pain-related fear may be a risk factor in relation to treatment outcomes. Overall, results indicate that the relationship between fear of pain and changes in disability and depressive symptoms are closely linked, with fear of pain playing an important role in treatment.
This paper presents results underscoring the importance of pain-related fear in relation to treatment response for children and adolescents with chronic pain. These findings support the need to develop and implement interventions that target reductions in pain-related fear.
chronic pain; child and adolescent; pain-related fear; treatment response; psychological aspects
Although there are many clinical programs designed to bring humor into pediatric hospitals, there has been very little research with children or adolescents concerning the specific utility of humor for children undergoing stressful or painful procedures. Rx Laughter™, a non-profit organization interested in the use of humor for healing, collaborated with UCLA to collect preliminary data on a sample of 18 children aged 7–16 years. Participants watched humorous video-tapes before, during and after a standardized pain task that involved placing a hand in cold water. Pain appraisal (ratings of pain severity) and pain tolerance (submersion time) were recorded and examined in relation to humor indicators (number of laughs/smiles during each video and child ratings of how funny the video was). Whereas humor indicators were not significantly associated with pain appraisal or tolerance, the group demonstrated significantly greater pain tolerance while viewing funny videos than when viewing the videos immediately before or after the cold-water task. The results suggest that humorous distraction is useful to help children and adolescents tolerate painful procedures. Further study is indicated to explore the specific mechanism of this benefit.
children; distraction; laughter; pain
Pain behaviors provide meaningful information about adolescents in chronic pain, enhancing their verbal report of pain intensity with information about the global pain experience. Caregivers likely consider these expressions when making judgments about their adolescents’ medical or emotional needs. Current validated measures of pain behavior target acute or procedural pain and young or non-verbal children, while observation systems may be too cumbersome for clinical practice. The objective of this research was to design and evaluate the Adolescent Pain Behavior Questionnaire (APBQ), a parent-report measure of adolescent (11–19 years) pain expressions. This paper provides preliminary results on reliability and validity of the APBQ. Parent-adolescent dyads (N = 138) seen in a multidisciplinary pain management clinic completed the APBQ and questionnaires assessing pain characteristics, quality of life, functional disability, depressive symptoms, and pain catastrophizing. Principal components analysis of the APBQ supported a single component structure. The final APBQ scale contained 23 items with high internal consistency (α= 0.93). No relationship was found between parent-reported pain behaviors and adolescentreported pain intensity. However, significant correlations were found between parent-reported pain behaviors and parent- and adolescent-reported functional disability, pain catastrophizing, depressive symptoms, and poorer quality of life. The assessment of pain behaviors provides qualitatively different information than solely recording pain intensity and disability. It has clinical utility for use in behavioral treatments seeking to reduce disability, poor coping, and distress.
Pain behaviors; Adolescents; Chronic pain; Assessment
Pain is under-recognised and undertreated. Although standards now exist for pain management, it is not known if this has improved care of hospitalized children.
To benchmark pain prevalence, pain intensity, pain assessment documentation and pharmacological treatment of pain. The aim was to highlight areas of good practice, identify areas for improvement and inform development of hospital standards, education, future audits and the research agenda.
The present prospective cross-sectional survey of all medical and surgical inpatient units took place on a single day at the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Ontario), a Canadian tertiary and quaternary pediatric hospital. A structured, verbally administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on patient demographics, pain before admission, pain intensity during admission and pain treatment. Charts were reviewed to establish frequency of documented pain assessment, the pain assessment tool used and analgesics given. Subgroup analysis was included for age, sex, visible minority or fluency in English, medical versus surgical services and acute pain service input.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:
Two hundred forty-one (83%) of the 290 inpatients or their carergivers were interviewed. It was found that 27% of patients usually had pain before admission, and 77% experienced pain during admission. Of these, 23% had moderate or severe pain at interview and 64% had moderate or severe pain sometime in the previous 24 h. Analgesics were largely intermittent and single-agent, although 90% of patients found these helpful. Fifty-eight per cent of those with pain received analgesics in the preceding 24 h but only 25% received regular analgesia. Only 27% of children had any pain score documented in the preceding 24 h. It was concluded that pain was infrequently assessed, yet occurred commonly across all age groups and services and was often moderate or severe. Although effective, analgesic therapy was largely single-agent and intermittent. Widespread dissemination of results to all professional groups has resulted in the development of a continuous quality assurance program for pain at the Hospital for Sick Children. A re-audit is planned to evaluate changes resulting from the new comprehensive pain strategies.
Inpatient pain; Pain assessment; Pain intensity; Pain management; Pain prevalence; Pediatric pain
Pain is one of the most common and distressing symptoms reported by adolescents with cancer. Despite advancements in pain assessment and management research, pain due to cancer and/or its treatments continues to be poorly managed. Our research group has developed a native iPhone application (app) called Pain Squad to tackle the problem of poorly managed pain in the adolescent with cancer group. The app functions as an electronic pain diary and is unique in its ability to collect data on pain intensity, duration, location, and the impact pain has on an adolescent’s life (ie, relationships, school work, sleep, mood). It also evaluates medications and other physical and psychological pain management strategies used. Users are prompted twice daily at configurable times to complete 20 questions characterizing their pain and the app transmits results to a database for aggregate reporting through a Web interface. Each diary entry represents a pain case filed by an adolescent with cancer and a reward system (ie, moving up through law-enforcement team ranks, built-in videotaped acknowledgements from fictitious officers) encourages consistent use of the diary.
Our objective was to design, develop, and test the usability, feasibility, compliance, and satisfaction of a game-based smartphone pain assessment tool for adolescents with cancer.
We used both low- and high-fidelity qualitative usability testing with qualitative semi-structured, audio-taped interviews and iterative cycles to design and refine the iPhone based Pain Squad app. Qualitative thematic analysis of interviews using constant comparative methodology captured emergent themes related to app usability. Content validity was assessed using question importance-rating surveys completed by participants. Compliance and satisfaction data were collected following a 2-week feasibility trial where users were alarmed to record their pain twice daily on the app.
Thematic analysis of usability interviews showed the app to be appealing overall to adolescents. Analyses of both low- and high-fidelity testing resulted in minor revisions to the app to refine the theme and improve its usability. Adolescents resoundingly endorsed the game-based nature of the app and its virtual reward system. The importance of app pain diary questions was established by content validity analysis. Compliance with the app, assessed during feasibility testing, was high (mean 81%, SD 22%) and adolescents from this phase of the study found the app likeable, easy to use, and not bothersome to complete.
A multifaceted usability approach demonstrated how the Pain Squad app could be made more appealing to children and adolescents with cancer. The game-based nature and built-in reward system of the app was appealing to adolescents and may have resulted in the high compliance rates and satisfaction ratings observed during clinical feasibility testing.
neoplasms; pain; child; adolescent; youth; cellular phone; game
Despite frequent targeting of health beliefs in pediatric chronic pain treatment interventions, there are currently no reliable and valid self-efficacy measures for children with chronic pain and their parents. The current study examined the psychometric properties of parent and child versions of a self-efficacy measure related to the child functioning normally when in pain. Pediatric pain patients, 9–18 years of age, and a caregiver completed questionnaires before an initial tertiary care clinic appointment. The 67 patients in our sample had an average of 1.7 pain locations, including abdominal pain (43.3%), headaches (50.7%), body pain (25.4%), back pain (23.9%), limb pain (20.9%), and/or chest pain (9.0%). Reliability for the new measures was excellent; the Cronbach's alpha was .89 for the 7 child items and .90 for the 7 parent items. Strong evidence for construct validity was also obtained as 23 of the 27 hypothesized correlations were confirmed. As predicted, parent and child ratings of increased self-efficacy for the child functioning normally when in pain were significantly correlated with each other, and to parent reports of fewer problems functioning due to physical or emotional problems; parent reports of fewer somatic, behavioral or emotional symptoms; parent reports of increased self-esteem, and unrelated to child pain, age and gender. Additionally, child ratings of increased self-efficacy were significantly correlated with child reports of increased self-esteem and fewer somatic symptoms. Replication with a larger sample size, more complex modeling, and prospective studies are indicated.
Pediatric chronic pain; Self-efficacy; Health belief measures
The importance of willingness to adopt a self-management approach to chronic pain has been demonstrated in the context of cognitive-behaviorally oriented interdisciplinary pain treatment programs for adults, both as a treatment outcome and as a process that facilitates functional improvements. Willingness to self-manage pain has not been studied in pediatric interdisciplinary pain treatment settings. Study aims were (1) to investigate willingness to self-manage pain among children and parents undergoing intensive interdisciplinary pain treatment and (2) to determine whether increased willingness to self-manage pain influenced functional treatment outcomes. 157 children ages 10-18 and their parents enrolled in a pediatric pain rehabilitation program completed the Pain Stages of Change Questionnaire (PSOCQ youth and parent versions) at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and short-term follow up. They also reported on pain, functional disability, depressive symptoms, fear of pain, and use of passive and accommodative coping strategies. Results show that willingness to self-manage pain increased during treatment among both children and parents, with gains maintained at follow-up. Increases in children’s readiness to self-manage pain from pre- to post-treatment were associated with decreases in functional disability, depressive symptoms, fear of pain, and use of adaptive coping strategies. Increases in parents’ readiness to adopt a pain-self management approach were associated with changes in parent-reported fear of pain but not with other child outcomes. Few associations emerged between pre-treatment willingness to self-manage pain and post-treatment outcomes. Findings suggest that interdisciplinary pediatric pain rehabilitation may facilitate increased willingness to self-manage pain, which is associated with improvements in function and psychological well-being.
Chronic pain; Multidisciplinary Treatment, Parents; Pediatric Pain; Readiness to change
Low back pain in junior Australian Rules footballers has not been investigated despite findings that back pain is more prevalent, severe and frequent in senior footballers than non-athletic controls and findings that adolescent back pain is a strong predictor for adult back pain. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, intensity, quality and frequency of low back pain in junior Australian Rules footballers and a control group and to compare this data between groups.
A cross-sectional survey of male non-elite junior (n = 60) and elite junior players (n = 102) was conducted along with a convenience sample of non-footballers (school children) (n = 100). Subjects completed a self-reported questionnaire on low back pain incorporating the Quadruple Visual Analogue Scale and McGill Pain Questionnaire (short form), along with additional questions adapted from an Australian epidemiological study. Linear Mixed Model (Residual Maximum Likelihood) methods were used to compare differences between groups. Log-linear models were used in the analysis of contingency tables.
For current, average and best low back pain levels, elite junior players had higher pain levels (p < 0.001), with no difference noted between non-elite juniors and controls for average and best low back pain. For low back pain at worst, there were significant differences in the mean pain scores. The difference between elite juniors and non-elite juniors (p = 0.040) and between elite juniors and controls (p < 0.001) was significant, but not between non-elite juniors and controls. The chance of suffering low back pain increases from 45% for controls, through 55% for non-elite juniors to 66.7% for elite juniors. The chance that a pain sufferer experiences chronic pain is 16% for controls and 41% for non-elite junior and elite junior players. Elite junior players experienced low back pain more frequently (p = 0.002), with no difference in frequency noted between non-elite juniors and controls. Over 25% of elite junior and non-elite junior players reported that back pain impacted their performance some of the time or greater.
This study demonstrated that when compared with non-elite junior players and non-footballers of a similar age, elite junior players experience back pain more severely and frequently and have higher prevalence and chronicity rates.
To collect symptom data longitudinally from children with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) and Control (asymptomatic) children.
Children with RAP (n = 77) and Controls (n = 33) ages 7–10 yrs. completed daily diaries for two weeks tracking pain frequency and severity, how often the pain interfered with activities, and stooling pattern.
RAP children reported a greater number of pain episodes and greater pain severity than Control children. Pain commonly was reported to be in the periumbilical area and occurred evenly across the day in both groups. However, the pain interfered with activity more often in the RAP group. There was a positive relation between pain and interference with activities. Both groups reported stool changes but there were no differences between groups in stool character (e.g., hard, mushy, etc.). For both groups the presence of watery stool was related positively to pain. Of children with RAP, 65% could be categorized as having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) whereas 35% were classifiable as having functional abdominal pain (FAP) according to the pediatric Rome II criteria.
To our knowledge this is the first longitudinal report of symptoms in children with RAP compared with Controls. These data demonstrate that there is considerable overlap between children with RAP and Control children on a number of items commonly obtained in the history (e.g., pain location, timing, and stooling pattern). A majority of children with RAP could be characterized as having IBS. The relationship between pain reports and interference with activities substantiates the need to deal specifically with the abdominal pain to decrease disability. The relationship between pain and watery stools requires further study.
Recurrent abdominal pain; diary; pain; stool pattern; irritable bowel syndrome; functional abdominal pain
Children being cared for in hospital undergo multiple painful procedures daily. However, little is known about the frequency of these procedures and associated interventions to manage the pain. We undertook this study to determine, for children in Canadian hospitals, the frequency of painful procedures, the types of pain management interventions associated with painful procedures and the influence of the type of hospital unit on procedural pain management.
We reviewed medical charts for infants and children up to 18 years of age who had been admitted to 32 inpatient units at eight Canadian pediatric hospitals between October 2007 and April 2008. We recorded all of the painful procedures performed and the pain management interventions that had been implemented in the 24-hour period preceding data collection. We performed descriptive and comparative (analysis of variance, χ2) analyses.
Of the 3822 children included in the study, 2987 (78.2%) had undergone at least one painful procedure in the 24-hour period preceding data collection, for a total of 18 929 painful procedures (mean 6.3 per child who had any painful procedure). For 2334 (78.1%) of the 2987 children who had a painful procedure, a pain management intervention in the previous 24 hours was documented in the chart: 1980 (84.8%) had a pharmacologic intervention, 609 (26.1%) a physical intervention, 584 (25.0%) a psychologic intervention and 753 (32.3%) a combination of interventions. However, for only 844 (28.3%) of the 2987 children was one or more pain management interventions administered and documented specifically for a painful procedure. Pediatric intensive care units reported the highest proportion of painful procedures and analgesics administered.
For less than one-third of painful procedures was there documentation of one or more specific pain management interventions. Strategies for implementing changes in pain management must be tailored to the type of hospital unit.
The aim of this study was to examine barriers to the use of electronic diaries within the clinic setting and to determine outcome differences between patients who used electronic diaries to monitor their progress with summary data feedback and patients who monitored their progress with paper diaries without summary data feedback.
One hundred thirty-four (n=134) chronic pain patients were asked to monitor their pain, mood, activity interference, medication use, and pain location on either a paper or electronic diary immediately before each monthly clinic visit for 10 months. Patients and their treating physicians in the electronic diary group (n=67) were able to observe changes in their ratings while patients using the paper diaries (n=67) had no feedback about their data entry.
Most participants believed that completing pain diaries was beneficial, yet only 23% of patients in the experimental condition felt that the data from the electronic diaries improved their care and less than 15% believed that their doctor made a change in their treatment based on the summary diary information.
In general, treating physicians were positive about the use of electronic diaries, although they admitted that they did not regularly incorporate the summary data in their treatment decision-making either because they forgot or they were too busy. Future studies in understanding barriers to physicians’ and patients’ use of diary data to impact treatment outcome are needed in order to improve care for persons with chronic pain.
Electronic diaries; PDA; chronic pain; treatment helpfulness; barriers; patient satisfaction
Musculoskeletal pain symptoms are common in children and adolescents. These symptoms have a negative impact on children's physical and emotional well-being, but their underlying aetiology and risk factors are still poorly understood. Most of the previous cohort studies were conducted among mid and/or late adolescents and were mainly focused on a specific pain location (e.g. low back pain or neck pain). The purpose of this study is to estimate occurrence of new-onset pain symptoms, in all musculoskeletal locations, in preteens and early adolescents and investigate risk factors for development of these symptoms.
1756 schoolchildren (mean age 10.8) were recruited from schools in southern Finland. Information was extracted as to whether they experienced musculoskeletal pain and a total of 1192 children were identified as free of musculoskeletal pain symptoms. Information was collected on factors which could potentially predict the development of musculoskeletal pain: headache, abdominal pain, sadness/feeling down, day-time tiredness, difficulty in falling asleep, waking up during nights, level of physical activity and hypermobility. These children were followed-up 1-year later and those with new episodes of non-traumatic and traumatic musculoskeletal pain symptoms were identified.
A total of 1113 schoolchildren (93% of baseline pain-free children) were found at one-year follow-up. New episodes of musculoskeletal pain were reported by 21.5% of these children. Of them 19.4% reported non-traumatic pain and 4.0% reported traumatic pain. The neck was the most commonly reported site with non-traumatic pain, while the lower limb was the most common site for traumatic pain. The independent risk factors for non-traumatic musculoskeletal pain were headache (OR = 1.68, [95% CI 1.16–2.44]) and day-time tiredness (OR = 1.53, [95% CI 1.03–2.26]). The risk factors for traumatic musculoskeletal pain were vigorous exercise (OR = 3.40 [95% CI 1.39–8.31]) and day-time tiredness (OR = 2.97 [95% CI 1.41–6.26]).
This study highlights that there may be two types of pain entities with both distinct and common aspects of aetiology. For primary prevention purposes, school healthcare professionals should pay attention to preteens and early adolescents practicing vigorous exercise (predictor of traumatic pain), reporting headache (predictor of non-traumatic pain) and reporting day-time tiredness (predictor of both types of pain).
Few studies have focused on identifying predictors of medical consultation for pain in healthy children and adolescents.
This investigation sought to identify parent and child laboratory and non-laboratory predictors of pediatric healthcare utilization for pain problems.
Participants were 210 healthy children and adolescents (102 girls), aged 8–17 years who took part in a laboratory pain session.
Three months after the laboratory session, participants were contacted by telephone to ascertain whether they had experienced pain and whether they had seen a healthcare professional for pain. Zero-order correlations among sociodemographics, child laboratory pain responses, parent physical/mental health status and medical consultation for pain were conducted to identify relevant correlates of pediatric healthcare utilization; these correlates were subjected to multivariate analyses.
Bivariate analyses indicated that higher anticipated pain and bother for the cold pressor task, as well as poorer parent physical health status, were associated with pediatric medical consultation for pain, but only among girls. Sequential logistic regression analyses controlling for child age indicated that only parent physical health status, not the laboratory indicators, significantly predicted healthcare consultation for pain among girls. No parent or child correlates of care-seeking for pain emerged for boys.
The findings suggest that parents’ perceived physical health plays a role in determining whether medical care is sought for pain complaints in healthy girls. These results suggest that interventions to assist parents in managing their own physical health problems may lead to reductions in medical consultation for girls’ pain.
pediatric health care; parent health status; parent-child relationship; experimental pain; acute pain
Objective To determine if caregiver report of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) is responsive to changes in health-related quality of life (HRQL) associated with pain episodes in pediatric sickle cell disease (SCD). Methods 81 caregivers of children ages 2–19 years with SCD completed the PedsQL as part of routine psychosocial screenings at 2 time points, ranging from 6 to 18 months apart. Frequency of SCD-related pain episodes between time points was assessed using medical chart review. Results The frequency of pain episodes between time points was a significant predictor of decreases in physical, psychosocial, and total HRQL, even after controlling for time interval, demographic, and medical variables. Conclusions The caregiver report of the PedsQL appears to be a useful tool for capturing changes in HRQL over time associated with pain episodes in SCD.
pain; quality of life; sickle cell disease
A parentally completed questionnaire was used to investigate the incidence of post-extraction pain in children. Significantly more patients in the study group reported pain following dental extraction than did control patients. Increasing age was significantly associated with the report of pain, but not with the use of a pain medication, even when the degree of difficulty of the extraction procedure was standardized. These findings suggest that the report of pain represents a late learned response while medication usage represents an early learned response. Those patients that reported increased severity of pain were significantly more likely to require a pain medication, but the pain medication was most effective for only mild pain. Additionally, male patients were significantly more likely to report complete effectiveness when pain medication was used. Contrary to some popularly held beliefs, the results of this study indicate that children do experience post-extraction pain and some children experience pain of sufficient intensity to require an analgesic for relief of post-extraction pain. Additionally, for a small group of patients, neither aspirin nor acetaminophen are adequate in fully relieving post-extraction discomfort. For these patients other agents may be indicated to fully relieve pain.
Purpose: As part of the special series on pain, our objectives are to describe the key features of chronic pain in children, present the rationale for interdisciplinary treatment, report a case study based on our biopsychosocial approach, and highlight the integral role of physiotherapy in reducing children's pain and improving function. We also evaluate the evidence base supporting physiotherapy for treating chronic neuropathic pain in children.
Summary of Key Points: Chronic pain affects many children and adolescents. Certain challenging pain conditions begin primarily during adolescence and disproportionately affect girls and women. Children with these conditions require an interdisciplinary treatment programme that includes physiotherapy as well as medication and/or psychological intervention. Converging lines of evidence from cohort follow-up studies, retrospective chart reviews, and one randomized controlled trial support the effectiveness of physiotherapy within an interdisciplinary programme for treating children with chronic pain.
Conclusions: Evidence-based practice dictates that health care providers adopt clear guidelines for determining when treatments are effective and for identifying children for whom such treatments are most effective. Thus, additional well-designed trials are required to better identify the specific physiotherapy modalities that are most important in improving children's pain and function.
biopsychosocial; evidence base for physiotherapy in treating chronic pain; interdisciplinary; inter-professional; paediatric chronic pain management; paediatric complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS); paediatric neuropathic pain; paediatric physiotherapy; biopsychosocial; gestion de la douleur chronique pédiatrique; interprofessionnel; multidisciplinaire; physiothérapie pédiatrique; preuves scientifiques de la physiothérapie pour le traitement de la douleur chronique; syndrome douloureux régional complexe (SDRC) pédiatrique