Psychosocial perspectives in the treatment of pediatric chronic pain
1 Division of Child, Adolescent & Family Psychiatry, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Bingham Clinic, 200 East Chestnut Street, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
2 Spalding University, 845 South 3rd Street, Louisville, KY 40203, USA
Pediatric Rheumatology 2012, 10:15 doi:10.1186/1546-0096-10-15Published: 7 June 2012
Chronic pain in children and adolescents is associated with major disruption to developmental experiences crucial to personal adjustment, quality of life, academic, vocational and social success. Caring for these patients involves understanding cognitive, affective, social and family dynamic factors associated with persistent pain syndromes. Evaluation and treatment necessitate a comprehensive multimodal approach including psychological and behavioral interventions that maximize return to more developmentally appropriate physical, academic and social activities. This article will provide an overview of major psychosocial factors impacting on pediatric pain and disability, propose an explanatory model for conceptualizing the development and maintenance of pain and functional disability in medically difficult-to-explain pain syndromes, and review representative evidence-based cognitive behavioral and systemic treatment approaches for improving functioning in this pediatric population.