Pediatric chronic pain programs: current and ideal practice

Pain Rep. 2017 Aug 21;2(5):e613. doi: 10.1097/PR9.0000000000000613. eCollection 2017 Sep.


Introduction: The treatment of youth with chronic pain has improved in recent years. However, because pediatric chronic pain programs are not governed by international standards, the development and implementation of new initiatives may be limited.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify the features of programs as they exist at present and to determine what features they should have in an ideal state.

Methods: A web-based international survey was used to collect information. The survey contained 86 questions seeking respondent professional demographic data and information about the pain program with which the respondent was affiliated at the time (program organization, types of pain problem treated, professionals involved, services provided, size of the program, research, professional training, public education and advocacy, and funding sources).

Results: Respondents were 136 pediatric pain experts representing different specialties located in 12 countries. Most respondents indicated that ideal programs would have a multidisciplinary staff; provide a wide range of treatments for different chronic pain problems; integrate research, formal clinical training of specialists, and public education and advocacy into their activities; and be an accredited part of the public health system.

Conclusions: The results of this survey may be useful for health care professionals interested in treating chronic pain in children and adolescents and for policy makers concerned with improving the care given to these children and their families.

Keywords: Chronic pain programs; Pediatric chronic pain; Survey; Treatment.