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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Previous research has established links between parent and child pain. However, little is known about sex-specific parent-child pain relationships in a nonclinical population. A sample of 186 children aged eight to 18 years (49% female) provided information on maternal and self bodily pain, assessed by asking children about the presence and location of bodily pain experienced. Children also completed three laboratory pain tasks and reported on cold pressor pain intensity, pressure pain intensity and heat pain intensity. The presence of child-reported maternal pain was consistently correlated with daughters’ bodily and laboratory pain, but not with sons’ pain in bivariate analyses. Multivariate analyses controlling for child age and maternal psychological distress indicated that children of mothers with bodily pain reported more total bodily pain sites as well as greater pressure and cold pain intensity, relative to children of mothers without bodily pain. For cold pain intensity, these results differed for boys versus girls, in that daughters reporting maternal pain evidenced significantly higher cold pain intensity compared with daughters not reporting maternal pain. No such differences were found for boys. The findings suggest that children’s perceptions of maternal pain may play a role in influencing children’s own experience of pain, and that maternal pain models may affect boys and girls differently.
Children; Pain; Sex differences; Social learning
Previous research has established links between parent and child pain. Yet little is known about sex-specific parent-child pain relationships in a non-clinical population. A sample of 186 children aged 8–18 years (49% female) provided information on maternal and self bodily-pain, assessed by asking children about the presence and location of bodily pain experienced. Children also completed three laboratory pain tasks and reported on cold pressor pain intensity, pressure pain intensity and heat pain intensity. The presence of child-reported maternal pain was consistently correlated with daughters’ bodily and laboratory pain, but not with sons’ pain in bivariate analyses. Multivariate analyses controlling for child age and maternal psychological distress indicated that children of mothers with bodily pain reported more total bodily pain sites as well as greater pressure and cold pain intensity, relative to children of mothers without bodily pain. For cold pain intensity, these results differed for boys vs. girls, in that daughters reporting maternal pain evidenced significantly higher cold pain intensity compared to daughters not reporting maternal pain. No such differences were found for boys. The findings suggest that children’s perceptions of maternal pain may play a role in influencing children’s own experience of pain and that maternal pain models may affect boys and girls differently.
pain; sex differences; social learning; children
Obesity is associated with functional disability in adults with chronic pain, but less is known about obesity among youth with chronic pain. The purpose of this study was to 1) identify the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents receiving treatment for chronic pain, and 2) examine associations between Body Mass Index (BMI), pain intensity, and activity limitations in this population.
Data was obtained from records of 118 patients, ages 8 to 18, seen in a multidisciplinary pediatric pain clinic. Information about age, gender, pain problem, duration and severity, medical diagnoses, medications, height and weight were collected from medical records and intake questionnaires. The CDC’s pediatric BMI calculator was used to obtain percentile and category (underweight, healthy weight, overweight, obese). Children and parents completed the Child Activity Limitations Interview-21 (CALI-21), a self-report measure of activity limitations.
A significantly higher rate of overweight and obesity was observed among youth with chronic pain compared to a normative sample. BMI percentile was predictive of concurrent limitations in vigorous activities, according to parent report.
BMI percentile and weight status may contribute to activity limitations among children and adolescents with chronic pain. Weight status is an important factor to consider in the context of treatment of chronic pain and disability in children and adolescents.
obesity; Body Mass Index (BMI); activity; pediatric; chronic pain
Newborns and infants are often exposed to painful procedures during hospitalization. Several different scales have been validated to assess pain in specific populations of pediatric patients, but no single scale can easily and accurately assess pain in all newborns and infants regardless of gestational age and disease state. A new pain scale was developed, the COVERS scale, which incorporates 6 physiological and behavioral measures for scoring. Newborns admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Well Baby Nursery were evaluated for pain/discomfort during two procedures, a heel prick and a diaper change. Pain was assessed using indicators from three previously established scales (CRIES, the Premature Infant Pain Profile, and the Neonatal Infant Pain Scale), as well as the COVERS Scale, depending upon gestational age. Premature infant testing resulted in similar pain assessments using the COVERS and PIPP scales with an r = 0.84. For the full-term infants, the COVERS scale and NIPS scale resulted in similar pain assessments with an r = 0.95. The COVERS scale is a valid pain scale that can be used in the clinical setting to assess pain in newborns and infants and is universally applicable to all neonates, regardless of their age or physiological state.
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
Juvenile Fibromyalgia (JFM) is characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and approximately 40% of children and adolescents with JFM also suffer from benign joint hypermobility (HM). It is not currently known if the presence of HM affects the pain experience of adolescents with JFM. The objective of this study was to examine whether there were any differences in self-reported pain intensity and physiologic pain sensitivity between JFM patients with and without joint HM.
One hundred thirty-one adolescent patients with JFM recruited from four pediatric rheumatology clinics completed a daily visual analogue scale (VAS) pain rating for one week and underwent a standardized 18-count tender point (TP) dolorimeter assessment. Medical records were reviewed for the presence of joint HM. Average pain VAS ratings, tender point count and tender point sensitivity were compared between JFM patients with and without hypermobility (HM+ and HM-).
Nearly half (48%) the sample of JFM patients were found to be HM+. HM+ and HM- patients did not differ in their self-reported pain intensity. However, HM + patients had significantly greater pain sensitivity, with lower TP thresholds (p = 0.002) and a greater number of painful TPs (p = 0.003) compared to HM- patients.
The presence of HM among adolescent patients with JFM appears to be associated with enhanced physiologic pain sensitivity, but not self-report of clinical pain. Further examination of the mechanisms for increased pain sensitivity associated with HM, especially in adolescents with widespread pain conditions such as JFM is warranted.
Juvenile fibromyalgia; Hypermobility; Tender point; Pediatric; Pain
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
Because of the paucity of effective evidence-based therapies for children with recurrent abdominal pain, we evaluated the therapeutic effect of guided imagery, a well-studied self-regulation technique.
22 children, aged 5 – 18 years, were randomized to learn either breathing exercises alone or guided imagery with progressive muscle relaxation. Both groups had 4-weekly sessions with a therapist. Children reported the numbers of days with pain, the pain intensity, and missed activities due to abdominal pain using a daily pain diary collected at baseline and during the intervention. Monthly phone calls to the children reported the number of days with pain and the number of days of missed activities experienced during the month of and month following the intervention. Children with ≤ 4 days of pain/month and no missed activities due to pain were defined as being healed. Depression, anxiety, and somatization were measured in both children and parents at baseline.
At baseline the children who received guided imagery had more days of pain during the preceding month (23 vs. 14 days, P = 0.04). There were no differences in the intensity of painful episodes or any baseline psychological factors between the two groups. Children who learned guided imagery with progressive muscle relaxation had significantly greater decrease in the number of days with pain than those learning breathing exercises alone after one (67% vs. 21%, P = 0.05), and two (82% vs. 45%, P < 0.01) months and significantly greater decrease in days with missed activities at one (85% vs. 15%, P = 0.02) and two (95% vs. 77%. P = 0.05) months. During the two months of follow-up, more children who had learned guided imagery met the threshold of ≤ 4 day of pain each month and no missed activities (RR = 7.3, 95%CI [1.1,48.6]) than children who learned only the breathing exercises.
The therapeutic efficacy of guided imagery with progressive muscle relaxation found in this study is consistent with our present understanding of the pathophysiology of recurrent abdominal pain in children. Although unfamiliar to many pediatricians, guided imagery is a simple, noninvasive therapy with potential benefit for treating children with RAP.
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.
To describe the prevalence of hysterectomy for women aged 18-45 seeking treatment at a chronic pain clinic, to describe patient characteristics (pain intensity, age, smoking status, hormone replacement status, and psychosocial factors) based on opioid and hysterectomy status, and to determine whether hysterectomy status predicted receipt of opioid prescription.
Retrospective cross-sectional chart review.
Total 323 new female patients aged 18-45 who completed the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form at initial evaluation at a chronic pain clinic during a 12-month period (July 2008- June 2009).
Data were collected from the Brief Pain Inventory and medical charts. Variables included opioid prescription, average pain intensity, pain type, age, hysterectomy status, smoking status, and pain-related dysfunction across domains measured by the Brief Pain Inventory. The association of opioid prescription with hysterectomy and other factors were determined by logistic regression.
Prevalence of hysterectomy was 28.8%. Average pain intensity was not associated with either hysterectomy or opioid prescription status. However, hysterectomy and high levels of pain-related dysfunction were significantly and independently associated with opioid prescription after adjusting for age and pain intensity. More than 85% of women with hysterectomy and high pain-related dysfunction had opioid prescription.
Hysterectomy may confer risk for pain-related dysfunction and opioid prescription in women 45 and younger. More research is needed to understand (1) how patient characteristics influence prescribing patterns; and (2) the specific medical risks and consequences of chronic opioid therapy in this population.
hysterectomy; chronic pain; opioids; pain-related dysfunction; hormone replacement
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
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
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) interventions show promise for decreasing chronic pain in youth. However, the availability of CBT is limited by many factors including distance to major treatment centers and expense. This study evaluates a more accessible treatment approach for chronic pediatric pain using an Internet-delivered family CBT intervention. Participants included 48 children, ages 11–17 years, with chronic headache, abdominal, or musculoskeletal pain and associated functional disability, and their parents. Children were randomly assigned to a wait-list control group or an Internet treatment group. Primary treatment outcomes were pain intensity ratings (0–10 NRS) and activity limitations on the Child Activity Limitations Interview, both completed via an online daily diary. In addition to their medical care, the Internet treatment group completed 8 weeks of online modules including relaxation training, cognitive strategies, parent operant techniques, communication strategies, and sleep and activity interventions. Youth randomized to the wait-list control group continued with current medical care only. Findings demonstrated significantly greater reduction in activity limitations and pain intensity at post-treatment for the Internet treatment group and these effects were maintained at three-month follow-up. Rate of clinically significant improvement in pain was also greater for the Internet treatment group in comparison to the wait-list control group. There were no significant group differences in parental protectiveness or child depressive symptoms post-treatment. Internet treatment was rated as acceptable by all children and parents. Findings support the efficacy and acceptability of Internet delivery of family CBT for reducing pain and improving function among children and adolescents with chronic pain.
pain; chronic pain; children; adolescents; randomized controlled trial; Internet; cognitive behavioral therapy
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
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
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.
Anxiety is the most common psychiatric condition in children and adolescents, and is linked to significant disruptions across domains of function. Due to the avoidant nature of anxiety and pain-related disability, studying anxiety symptoms in children with chronic and recurrent pain conditions is important.
To examine anxiety symptoms in a large cohort of children and adolescents evaluated for complex chronic and recurrent pain conditions.
Through retrospective chart review, data on anxiety, pain and functional disability were collected from 655 children evaluated at a multidisciplinary pain clinic over a three-year period.
Approximately 11% of children and adolescents reported clinically elevated anxiety symptoms, with elevated levels across dimensions of anxiety ranging from 14% (social anxiety, worry) to 27% (physiological). In addition, a notable 31% of the sample potentially minimized their anxiety by responding in a socially desirable manner. Anxiety was linearly associated with greater pain-related functional disability, but was not directly correlated with pain. Moderation analyses revealed that at low levels of worry, higher levels of pain were associated with greater functional disability, whereas at high levels of worry, pain no longer predicted the level of functional disability.
These findings document the prevalence of anxiety in children and adolescents with chronic pain, and also extend recent studies examining the complex relationships among pain, anxiety and pain-related disability.
Adolescents; Anxiety; Chronic pain; Functional disability; Psychosocial functioning