Chronic pain in children and young people

Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2011 Jun;5(2):158-63. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0b013e328345832d.


Purpose of review: In response to a considerable volume of clinical research into chronic pain in children and young people, recent systematic reviews now provide an evidence base for management. Clinicians should be aware of this evidence and areas in which evidence is lacking.

Recent findings: There is a strong evidence base for psychological interventions in several conditions; computerized delivery with therapist support shows promise. Multidisciplinary services are required for a small cohort of patients. The role and effects of parents in their child's pain is becoming clearer; effective interventions for parents are being developed. The evidence for effective pharmacotherapy is poor, apart from the acute management of headache.

Summary: Clinicians need to be aware of the therapeutic effect of the psychosocial approach to the management of chronic pain in children and young people. Further research is required into the pharmacological and physical aspects of management, which remain important.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / psychology
  • Abdominal Pain / therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy
  • Headache Disorders / psychology
  • Headache Disorders / therapy
  • Humans
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Management*
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Relaxation Therapy


  • Analgesics