The treatment of recurrent abdominal pain in children: a controlled comparison of cognitive-behavioral family intervention and standard pediatric care

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1994 Apr;62(2):306-14. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.62.2.306.


This study describes the results of a controlled clinical trial involving 44 7- to 14-year-old children with recurrent abdominal pain who were randomly allocated to either cognitive-behavioral family intervention (CBFI) or standard pediatric care (SPC). Both treatment conditions resulted in significant improvements on measures of pain intensity and pain behavior. However, the children receiving CBFI had a higher rate of complete elimination of pain, lower levels of relapse at 6- and 12-month follow-up, and lower levels of interference with their activities as a result of pain and parents reported a higher level of satisfaction with the treatment than children receiving SPC. After controlling for pretreatment levels of pain, children's active self-coping and mothers' caregiving strategies were significant independent predictors of pain behavior at posttreatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / psychology
  • Abdominal Pain / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Recurrence
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Somatoform Disorders / therapy*