Psychological barriers to optimal pain management in infants and children

Clin J Pain. 1996 Jun;12(2):135-41. doi: 10.1097/00002508-199606000-00009.


Objective: To discuss the numerous psychological barriers to optimum pain relief in infants, children, and adolescents.

Data sources: The professional and scientific literature on pediatric pain was accessed by means of Psychlit and Medline searches. Our clinical experience with patients was also used.

Data syntheses: The potential barriers to optimum management were discussed in terms of cognitive and emotional developmental barriers, perceived lack of control, children's knowledge and attitudes, and characteristics of children.

Conclusions: The psychological barriers to optimum pain relief are significant and attention to these barriers could lead to better pain management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Management*