Empirically supported treatments in pediatric psychology: procedure-related pain

J Pediatr Psychol. 1999 Apr;24(2):131-45. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/24.2.131.


Objective: To use the Chambless criteria for empirically supported treatments and determine if any interventions for procedure-related pain in children and adolescents can be designated as "well established," "probably efficacious," or "promising."

Methods: The Chambless criteria were applied to 13 treatment outcome studies identified by a comprehensive literature review.

Results: A detailed summary is provided for each study, including the following information: citation, subjects, diagnostic criteria, baseline, experimental design, assessment measures, treatment protocol, outcome, and follow-up.

Conclusions: Cognitive behavioral therapy is a "well-established treatment" for procedure-related pain in children and adolescents. Treatment includes breathing exercises and other forms of relaxation and distraction, imagery and other forms of cognitive coping skills, filmed modeling, reinforcement/incentive, behavioral rehearsal, and active coaching by a psychologist, parent, and/or medical staff member. I discuss future challenges for biobehavioral research and practice in the area of procedure-related pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Psychotherapy / methods
  • Psychotherapy / standards*