Pain in Children: Nature, Assessment, and Treatment

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Guilford Press, 1990 - Medical - 466 pages
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Interest in the assessment and management of children's pain has increased dramatically over the past few years. Recent advances in the understanding of the plasticity and complexity of pain processing and new information about internal pain-inhibitory systems have revolutionized traditional approaches to pain control. It is now known that children's pain is plastic--not simply and directly related to the nature and extent of tissue damage--and that there are many ways to alleviate their suffering. Using a multifaceted approach that encompasses the neural and psychological factors that mediate pain, and featuring specific examples drawn from the Pain Clinic at The Children's Hospital of Western Ontario, this uniquely practical volume presents the most up-to-date information on how to assess and control acute, recurrent, and chronic pain in children.
In recognition of the multidimensional nature of children's pain experiences, the book opens with a discussion of what pain is to children, the types of pain they experience, and the developmental, familial, situational, and emotional factors that modify children's perceptions and behaviors. Physiological, behavioral and psychological pain measures and direct measures for evaluating pain in infants and children are described and evaluated. The complexity of the nociceptive system, which enables practitioners to alter children's pain perceptions, is covered in detail, and information is provided about how to teach children and parents about pain modulation.
In the chapters that cover treatment, the primary pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for reducing pain are reviewed along with practical suggestions on how to select and use cognitive-behavioral techniques in ambulatory clinics and hospital settings. Separate chapters offer separate, in-depth discussions on the management of acute pain, recurrent pain syndromes (such as headaches, abdominal and limb pains), and chronic pain.
Drawn from the author's experience as director of a multidisciplinary pain clinic for children, this straightforward volume, with its numerous case illustrations and research results, will be an invaluable resource to a all health professionals, particularly those in psychology, behavioral medicine, nursing and pediatrics. It also serves as an excellent text for students in these disciplines.

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About the author (1990)

Recipient of the Ontario Ministry of Health's Career Scientist Award, Patricia A. McGrath is founder of the Pediatric Pain Clinic and Director of the Child Health Research Institute at Children's Hospital of Western Ontario. She is also Associate Professor on the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at the University of Western Ontario. Author of numerous book chapters and journal articles, she is Associate Editor on the Pediatrics Panel of Pain, and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

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