Children’s Pain: A Mandate for Change

Brennan-Hunter, Andrea L. (2001) Children’s Pain: A Mandate for Change. Pain Research and Management, 6 (1). pp. 29-39. ISSN 1918-1523

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There have been tremendous research advances in the past 15 years in knowledge about children's pain, and strategies for recognizing and managing that pain. However, the clinical care of children in pain remains a challenge. Children's pain continues to be frequently unrecognized , dismissed or ineffectively managed. A loud call for change is being voiced by physicians, nurses, children and their families. A review of the literature was conducted to document this issue. Starting with a Medline search of the key word 'child* + pain' and continuing with a snowball technique, articles and resources addressing children's pain were collected. Resources presented or published after 1990 were particularly sought because they theoretically reflect both current knowledge about children's pain and the implementation of this knowledge in practice. Unfortunately, although information on pain is available to help children, in many instances, it is not being used. The purpose of the present paper is twofold -- to present an overview of current knowledge of children's pain, and factors that hinder its effective assessment and management; and to present a mandate for change. Children's postoperative pain is highlighted in this paper as an example of the gap between pain knowledge and clinical practice. Although treatment strategies differ across different types of pain, children's conditions and ages, the principles and mandate for change discussed in this paper are directly relevant to all categories of children's pain.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 12022
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Keywords: Children’s pain, Pain management, Postoperative pain
Department(s): Nursing, Faculty of
Date: 2001
Date Type: Publication
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