What does it take? Comparing intensive rehabilitation to outpatient treatment for children with significant pain-related disability

J Pediatr Psychol. 2013 Mar;38(2):213-23. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jss109. Epub 2012 Oct 26.


Objectives: This study compared outcomes between day hospital pain rehabilitation patients and patients engaged in outpatient multidisciplinary pain treatment.

Methods: This study included 100 children who presented for an initial tertiary care pain clinic evaluation. 50 patients enrolled in intensive day hospital pain rehabilitation and 50 patients pursued outpatient multidisciplinary treatment. Across 2 time points, children completed measures of functional disability, pain-related fear, and readiness to change and parents completed measures of pain-related fear and readiness to change.

Results: Across both treatment modalities, patients and parents reported improvements. Patients enrolled in intensive pain rehabilitation had significantly larger improvements in functional disability, pain-related fear, and readiness to change. Parents of day hospital patients reported larger declines in child pain-related fear and increased readiness to change compared with their outpatient counterparts. Discussion For patients with high levels of pain-related disability and distress, intensive pain rehabilitation provides rapid, dramatic improvements in functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Child
  • Day Care, Medical*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Outpatients*
  • Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Pain Management
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome