Chronic pain is more prevalent among children and adolescents than most people may think it is. As a matter of fact, it affects about 45% of those in the 10- to 18-year-old age group. And, in many cases, the pain will continue into adulthood.
A new study, just released by The Riley Pain Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana shows the importance of adapting pediatric pain management strategies whose main focus in on improving as well as restoring the quality of life for the child and the whole family as well.
Completely eliminating chronic pain is almost impossible in many cases. The researchers stress the importance of setting realistic goals, focusing on the medical, psychological and social needs of the child and family with the ultimate goal of controlling the pain to the point where the child can return to school and resume a normal social life.
There were 73 participants in the study, all of them children and adolescent patients enrolled in The Riley Pain Center between October 2005 and December 2006. The Riley Pain Center is one of a small group of medical centers that treat pediatric chronic pain using a method that includes a combination of approaches which may include very carefully selected medications, physical, occupational and/or massage therapy, psychotherapy; family counseling; social work; acupuncture; yoga; and/or nutritional supplements.
Most of the participants were girls who had had chronic pain for over a year along with moderate to severe anxiety and/or depression. Both the patients and the parents completed two surveys covering the intensity of the patient’s pain and how the patient’s health impacted the quality of life. One was done during the first visit and the other at their follow up visit.
The results of the surveys showed a 35% reduction in pain as reported by the patients. The parents reported a 23% increase in their quality of life and a 19% increase in the child’s quality of life, from their point of view.
The research was done by Thomas R. Vetter, M.D, M.P.H., medical director and clinical associate professor of anesthesiology at The Riley Pain Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana.
According to Dr. Vetter, a child should not have to live in isolation, but is a part of a family and the type of family oriented care that the center delivers is very important. They are going to continue with their work focusing on the impact of the child’s chronic pain on the whole family unit.
Source: American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) http://www.newswise.com/