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1.  Validation of Self-Report Pain Scales in Children 
Pediatrics  2013;132(4):e971-e979.
The Faces Pain Scale–Revised (FPS-R) and Color Analog Scale (CAS) are self-report pain scales commonly used in children but insufficiently validated in the emergency department setting. Our objectives were to determine the psychometric properties (convergent validity, discriminative validity, responsivity, and reliability) of the FPS-R and CAS, and to determine whether degree of validity varied based on age, sex, and ethnicity.
We conducted a prospective, observational study of English- and Spanish-speaking children ages 4 to 17 years. Children with painful conditions indicated their pain severity on the FPS-R and CAS before and 30 minutes after analgesia. We assessed convergent validity (Pearson correlations, Bland-Altman method), discriminative validity (comparing pain scores in children with pain against those without pain), responsivity (comparing pain scores pre- and postanalgesia), and reliability (Pearson correlations, repeatability coefficient).
Of 620 patients analyzed, mean age was 9.2 ± 3.8 years, 291(46.8%) children were girls, 341(55%) were Hispanic, and 313(50.5%) were in the younger age group (<8 years). Pearson correlation was 0.85, with higher correlation in older children and girls. Lower convergent validity was noted in children <7 years of age. All subgroups based on age, sex, and ethnicity demonstrated discriminative validity and responsivity for both scales. Reliability was acceptable for both the FPS-R and CAS.
The FPS-R and CAS overall demonstrate strong psychometric properties in children ages 4 to 17 years, and between subgroups based on age, sex, and ethnicity. Convergent validity was questionable in children <7 years old.
PMCID: PMC3784298  PMID: 23999954
pain; pediatric; pain scale; validity; reliability; Faces Pain Scale–Revised (FPS-R); Color Analog Scale (CAS); age; sex; ethnicity; race; language; emergency department
2.  Training highly qualified health research personnel: The Pain in Child Health consortium 
The Pain in Child Health (PICH) consortium is a Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The PICH represents a community of interdisciplinary researchers whose goal is to support the education of highly qualified personnel and to promote research on the prevention and relief of pediatric pain. The authors of this article report on the success of the PICH since its inception in 2002.
Pain in Child Health (PICH) is a transdisciplinary, international research training consortium. PICH has been funded since 2002 as a Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, with contributions from other funding partners and the founding participation of five Canadian universities. The goal of PICH has been to create a community of scholars in pediatric pain to improve child health outcomes.
Quantitative analyses enumerated PICH faculty, trainees, training activities and scientific outputs. Interviews with PICH stakeholders were analyzed using qualitative methods capturing perceptions of the program’s strengths, limitations, and opportunities for development and sustainability.
PICH has supported 218 trainee members from 2002 through 2013, from 14 countries and more than 16 disciplines. The faculty at the end of 2013 comprised nine co-principal investigators, 14 Canadian coinvestigators, and 28 Canadian and international collaborators. Trainee members published 697 peer-reviewed journal articles on pediatric pain through 2013, among other research dissemination activities including conference presentations and webinars. Networks have been established between new and established researchers across Canada and in 13 other countries. Perceptions from stakeholders commended PICH for its positive impact on the development of pediatric pain researchers. Stakeholders emphasized skills and abilities gained through PICH, the perceived impact of PICH training on this research field, and considerations for future training in developing researchers in pediatric pain.
PICH has been successfully developing highly qualified health research personnel within a Canadian and international community of pediatric pain scholarship.
PMCID: PMC4197754  PMID: 25299474
Interdisciplinary; International; Pediatric pain; Research; Training; Transdiscliplinary
3.  A Quantitative Examination of Extreme Facial Pain Expression in Neonates: The Primal Face of Pain across Time 
Pain Research and Treatment  2012;2012:251625.
Many pain assessment tools for preschool and school-aged children are based on facial expressions of pain. Despite broad use, their metrics are not rooted in the anatomic display of the facial pain expression. We aim to describe quantitatively the patterns of initiation and maintenance of the infant pain expression across an expressive cycle. We evaluated the trajectory of the pain expression of three newborns with the most intense facial display among 63 infants receiving a painful stimulus. A modified “point-pair” system was used to measure movement in key areas across the face by analyzing still pictures from video recording the procedure. Point-pairs were combined into “upper face” and “lower face” variables; duration and intensity of expression were standardized. Intensity and duration of expression varied among infants. Upper and lower face movement rose and overlapped in intensity about 30% into the expression. The expression reached plateau without major change for the duration of the expressive cycle. We conclude that there appears to be a shared pattern in the dynamic trajectory of the pain display among infants expressing extreme intensity. We speculate that these patterns are important in the communication of pain, and their incorporation in facial pain scales may improve current metrics.
PMCID: PMC3356985  PMID: 22645679
4.  Pain charts (body maps or manikins) in assessment of the location of pediatric pain 
Pain management  2011;1(1):61-68.
This article surveys the use of pain charts or pain drawings in eliciting information about the location of pain symptoms from children and adolescents. While pain charts are widely used and have been incorporated in multidimensional pediatric pain questionnaires and diaries, they present a number of issues requiring further study. These include, in particular, the number and size of different locations or areas of pain that need to be differentiated; the age at which children are able to complete pain charts unassisted; and whether the intensity and other qualities of pain can be accurately recorded on pain charts by children and adolescents. Based on data currently available, it is suggested that the unassisted use of pain charts be restricted to children aged 8 years or over, while for clinical purposes many younger children can complete pain charts with adult support. Where the investigator’s interest is restricted to a few areas of the body, checklists of body parts may have greater utility than pain charts. A new pain chart adapted for use in studies of pediatric recurrent and chronic pain is presented.
PMCID: PMC3091382  PMID: 21572558
5.  Electronic and paper versions of a faces pain intensity scale: concordance and preference in hospitalized children 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:87.
Assessment of pain in children is an important aspect of pain management and can be performed by observational methods or by self-assessment. The Faces Pain Scale-Revised (FPS-R) is a self-report tool which has strong positive correlations with other well established self-report pain intensity measures. It has been recommended for measuring pain intensity in school-aged children (4 years and older). The objective of this study is to compare the concordance and the preference for two versions, electronic and paper, of the FPS-R, and to determine whether an electronic version of the FPS-R can be used by children aged 4 and older.
The study is an observational, multicenter, randomized, cross-over, controlled, open trial. Medical and surgical patients in two pediatric hospitals (N = 202, age 4-12 years, mean age 8.3 years, 58% male) provided self-reports of their present pain using the FPS-R on a personal digital assistant (PDA) and on a paper version. Paper and electronic versions of the FPS-R were administered by a nurse in a randomized order: half the patients were given the PDA version first and the other half the paper version first. The time between the administrations was planned to be less than 30 minutes but not simultaneous. Two hundred and thirty-seven patients were enrolled; 35 were excluded from analysis because of misunderstanding of instructions or abnormal time between the two assessments.
Final population for analysis comprised 202 children. The overall weighted Kappa was 0.846 (95%CI: 0.795; 0.896) and the Spearman correlation between scores on the two versions was rs = 0.911 (p < 0.0001). The mean difference of pain scores was less than 0.1 out of 10, which was neither statistically nor clinically significant; 83.2% of children chose the same face on both versions of the FPS-R. Preference was not modified by order, sex, age, hospitalization unit (medical or surgical units), or previous analgesics. The PDA was preferred by 87.4% of the children who expressed a preference.
The electronic version of the FPS-R can be recommended for use with children aged 4 to 12, either in clinical trials or in hospitals to monitor pain intensity.
PMCID: PMC3203844  PMID: 21989306
6.  Procedural Pain Management for Children Receiving Physiotherapy 
Physiotherapy Canada  2010;62(4):327-337.
Purpose: This article provides an overview of literature relevant to the prevention and relief of pain and distress during physiotherapy procedures, with guidance for physiotherapists treating children.
Summary of key points: Physiotherapists are generally well trained in assessing and managing pain as a symptom of injury or disease, but there is a need to improve the identification and management of pain produced by physiotherapy procedures such as stretching and splinting. In contrast to physiotherapy, other health care disciplines, such as dentistry, nursing, paediatrics, emergency medicine, and paediatric psychology, produce extensive literature on painful procedures. Procedural pain in children is particularly important because it can lead to later fear and avoidance of necessary medical care.
Recommendations: We emphasize the need for physiotherapists to recognize procedural pain and fear in the course of treatment using verbal, nonverbal, and contextual cues. We present many methods that physiotherapists can use to prevent or relieve procedural pain and fear in paediatric patients and provide an example of a simple, integrated plan for prevention and relief of distress induced by painful procedures.
PMCID: PMC2958071  PMID: 21886372
child; pain; painful procedures; paediatric; physiotherapy; douleur; enfants; pédiatrique; physiothérapie; procédures douloureuses
7.  Postoperative self-report of pain in children: Interscale agreement, response to analgesic, and preference for a faces scale and a visual analogue scale 
To augment available validation data for the Faces Pain Scale – Revised (FPS-R) and to assess interscale agreement and preference in comparison with the Coloured Analogue Scale (CAS) in pediatric acute pain.
The present prospective, multicentre study included 131 inpatients five to 15 years of age (mean age 8.8 years; 56% male) seen in postoperative recovery. They provided CAS and FPS-R pain scores before and after administration of analgesic medication. Nurses and physicians used the same tools as observational scales. Children and health care providers indicated which scale they preferred.
FPS-R scores for the intensity of postoperative pain correlated highly with the corresponding CAS scores in all age groups (0.66 ≤ r ≤ 0.88). There were no significant mean differences in any age group between the scales. Scores on the two scales differed by 2/10 or less in 81% to 91% of children, depending on age. Both scales demonstrated expected changes in postoperative pain following administration of an analgesic. Scores at the upper end point were given by approximately 20% of children five to six years of age on both scales, compared with 2% to 9% in the older age groups. Health care providers’ observational ratings were significantly lower than self-ratings. The FPS-R was preferred over the CAS by most children in all age groups and both sexes. Global satisfaction of the health care providers was similar for both tools.
These results support the use of the FPS-R for most children five years of age or older in the postoperative period. Further research is needed to identify young children, particularly those younger than seven years of age, who have difficulty with self-report tools, and to establish methods for training them in the reliable use of these measures.
PMCID: PMC2912614  PMID: 20577659
Children; Faces Pain Scale – Revised; Measurement; Pediatric pain; Self-report; Visual analogue scale
9.  Anxiety influences children’s memory for procedural pain 
To examine the effects of temperament and trait anxiety on memory for pain.
Three dimensions of temperament, as well as trait anxiety, were assessed in 36 children (five to 12 years of age) undergoing dental procedures; after the procedure, the children provided pain ratings. Following a six- to eight-week delay, the children reported how much pain they remembered.
Most children (85%) accurately recalled their pain. Temperament had no significant effect, but trait-anxious children showed a greater likelihood of recalling more pain than they initially reported, suggesting that they may negatively distort recollections of painful experiences.
When treating children, in particular trait-anxious children, clinicians should consider what children remember as part of pain management intervention.
PMCID: PMC2706554  PMID: 19547763
Anxiety; Children; Memory; Procedural pain; Temperament
10.  Children’s self-report of pain intensity: What we know, where we are headed 
The present paper provides a short, practical introduction to children’s self-report measures of pain intensity, followed by an overview of principles and issues. Details on individual self-report scales were previously reported in a landmark systematic review in 2006 and will not be repeated here. Broader measurement issues discussed here include interpretation of pain scores over time, across individuals and in relation to contextual factors; special considerations affecting children younger than six years of age; social communicative functions of pain reports; cognitive developmental factors in understanding pain scales and their anchors; screening for the ability to use self-report scales and training for children who do not have this skill; level of measurement (interval versus ordinal); estimating clinically significant change for groups and individuals; and measurement of aspects of pain other than intensity. Also highlighted are areas in which there has been progress and a lack of progress since the last time this topic was featured at the International Forum on Pediatric Pain in 1996. The present article closes with an outline of key areas for further research on children’s self-report of pain and a brief summary of recommendations for clinicians.
PMCID: PMC2706563  PMID: 19262915
Child; Faces scales; Measurement; Numerical rating scale; Pain intensity; Pain scale; Self-report
11.  Understanding and managing children’s recurrent pain in primary care: A biopsychosocial perspective 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2007;12(2):121-125.
Recurrent pains in childhood are those that occur at least three times within three months and interfere with daily activities. The most common reasons for pain are headaches and abdominal pain, and the great majority of these have no serious or treatable physical cause. Instead, a functional analysis of the antecedents and consequences of the pain for the child is needed. This requires time, trust, rapport and acceptance, as well as the development of a shared biopsychosocial understanding of the pain. Some interview questions are suggested for this purpose. These include questions about the physical and social triggers of pain episodes, such as stress at school or at home, and modelling of pain behaviour by family members. Also included are questions about the adverse consequences of pain, such as sleep problems, difficulty in concentration, avoidance of responsibility and of feared situations, and inadvertent reinforcement of pain behaviour by solicitous behaviour on the part of parents. Among the numerous interventions for recurrent pain, those that promote learning of relaxation skills are the best established. A cognitive-behavioural, biopsychosocial approach to treating recurrent pain is well supported by research evidence. Primary care physicians and paediatric consultants can help to prevent and relieve children’s recurrent pain.
PMCID: PMC2528902  PMID: 19030351
Abdominal pain; Biopsychosocial; Evidence-based; Headache; Management; Primary care; Recurrent pain; Treatment
12.  Children’s self-reports of pain intensity: Scale selection, limitations and interpretation 
Most children aged five years and older can provide meaningful self-reports of pain intensity if they are provided with age-appropriate tools and training. Self-reports of pain intensity are an oversimplification of the complexity of the experience of pain, but one that is necessary to evaluate and titrate pain-relieving treatments. There are many sources of bias and error in self-reports of pain, so ratings need to be interpreted in light of information from other sources such as direct observation of behaviour, knowledge of the circumstances of the pain and parents’ reports. The pain intensity scales most commonly used with children – faces scales, numerical rating scales, visual analogue scales and others – are briefly introduced. The selection, limitations and interpretation of self-report scales are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2539005  PMID: 16960632
Child; Measurement; Pain intensity; Pain scale; Self-report

Results 1-12 (12)