Interdisciplinary behavioral rehabilitation of pediatric pain-associated disability: retrospective review of an inpatient treatment protocol

J Pediatr Psychol. 2010 Mar;35(2):128-37. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsp038. Epub 2009 May 22.


Objective: A biopsychosocial model was used to treat pain-associated disability in children and adolescents. We assessed the clinical outcomes of children and adolescents (8-21 years of age) with pain-associated disability who were treated in an interdisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation program which included physical, occupational, and recreational therapy, medicine, nursing, pediatric psychology, neuropsychology, psychiatry, social work, and education. Psychological treatment emphasized cognitive-behavioral intervention for pain and anxiety management, and behavioral shaping to increase functioning.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 41 consecutive patients. School attendance, sleep, and medication usage were assessed at admission and discharge; functional disability and physical mobility were assessed at admission, discharge, and 3-month follow-up.

Results: As a group, significant improvements were observed in school status, sleep, functional ability, physical mobility, and medication usage.

Conclusion: Findings support the efficacy of an inpatient interdisciplinary behavioral rehabilitation approach to the treatment of pain-associated disability in pediatric patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Child
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Disabled Persons / psychology
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Motor Activity
  • Pain / complications*
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult