Kids get Chronic Pain Too: Assessment and Management of Paediatric Chronic Pain

Last modified by Ann Watkins on 2016/04/07 17:48



Jennifer Stinson RN PhD, Allen Finley MD, Bruce Dick PhD, Anne Ayling Campos PT,


Chronic pain in children is a common and serious health problem due to its complex nature and can result in significant disability. A sub-group of children with recurrent and persistent pain (5-10%) will develop significant pain related disability that increases with age. The most common pain conditions in children are headaches, abdominal pain and musculoskeletal pain. Despite the relatively high prevalence of chronic pain in children and its significant physical, psychological, social and economic impact on children and their families, it is often under-recognized and under-treated by clinicians. The first step in the management of chronic pain is conducting a comprehensive pain history. The treatment of chronic pain involves the use of a range of psychological, physical and pharmacological interventions. Pain is a bio-psycho-social phenomenon and hence a multi-disciplinary, multi-modal approach that incorporates the 3 P’s (physical, psychological and pharmacological interventions) is likely to be most effective. Treatment should also address pain-related disability with the goal of maximizing functioning and improving quality of life. This approach includes specific treatment targeting possible underlying pain mechanisms, as well as symptom-focused management addressing pain, sleep disturbance, anxiety, or depressive feelings.

Join us as we explore such questions as:

  • What is chronic pain?
  • How is chronic different from acute pain?
  • What is the epidemiology of chronic pain in children?
  • What is the impact of chronic pain on the child, family and society?
  • What is involved in a comprehensive pain assessment?
  • What are the important elements in the treatment of chronic pain in children in terms of pharmacological, physical and psychological strategies?

Kids have Chronic Pain Too: Assessment and Management of Paediatric Chronic Pain: is the third of a series of webinars jointly supported by the CIHR Team in Children's Pain Grant (PI: Dr. Bonnie Stevens), the CIHR Knowledge Synthesis: Systematic Review of Sweet Solutions for Acute Pain Relief in Infants Grant (PI: Dr. Bonnie Stevens) and CAPHC.

In this webinar, Jennifer Stinson RN PhD and Anne Ayling Campos PT from The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Allen Finley MD from the Izaak Walton Killam (IWK) Hospital for Children and Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; and Bruce Dick PhD from the Stollery Children’s Hospital and the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada will draw from their research and clinical expertise to provide an overview of the best evidence for pain assessment and management practices in children and youth with chronic pain.

Topics covered in this 1.5 hour webinar will include:

  • Epidemiology and consequences of chronic pain;
  • Components of a comprehensive chronic pain history;
  • Best evidence for management of chronic pain in children.

Resources and References

Powerpoint Presentations

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List of References
  • Badell-Hoekstra, I.E., Abu-Saad, H.H., Passchier, J., Frederiks, C.M., Feron, F.J. and Knipschild, P. (2001) Prevalence and characteristics of headache in Dutch schoolchildren, European Journal of Pain, 5: 145-153.
  • Bursch, B., Tsao, J.C., Meldrum, M. and Zeltzer, L.K. (2006) Preliminary validation of a self-efficacy scale for child functioning despite chronic pain (child and parent versions), Pain, 125(1-2): 35-42.
  • Groholt, E.K., Stigum, H., Nordhagen, R. and Kohler, L. (2003) Recurrent pain in children, socio-economic factors and accumulation in families, European Journal of Epidemiology, 18: 965-975.
  • Huguet A, Miró J. The severity of chronic pediatric pain: An epidemiological study. J Pain 2008; 9(3), 226-236.
  • Stanford, E.A., Chambers, C.T., Biesanz, J.C. and Chen, E. (2008) The frequency, trajectories and predictors of adolescent recurrent pain: A population-based approach, Pain 2008;138(1):11-21.
Useful web resources
Additional Resources

Presenter Bios

Jennifer Stinson RN PhD CPNP

Dr. Jennifer Stinson is an Assistant Professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, at the University of Toronto. She is a Clinician Scientist in Child Health Evaluative Sciences and an Advanced Practice Nurse in the Chronic Pain Program in the Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Her major clinical research interests are in the area of pain and symptom management and the use of e-health technologies to improve the assessment and management of pain and other symptoms in children with chronic illnesses. Dr. Stinson developed and tested a multidimensional electronic pain diary for children with chronic pain for her PhD dissertation. She recently received a Career Scientist Award from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for her research on using e-health to promote chronic disease self-management in youth with chronic health conditions.  She has made over 50 presentations about the broad area of chronic pain and has 31 publications to her credit.  Jennifer is a co-investigator on the CIHR Team in Children’s Pain Grant.

G. Allen Finley, MD FRCPC FAAP

Dr. Allen Finley is Professor of Anesthesia and Psychology at Dalhousie University, the inaugural Dr. Stewart Wenning Chair in Pediatric Pain Management at the IWK Health Centre, and Medical Director of Pediatric Pain Management and the Pediatric Complex Pain Clinic. His research interests include all areas of pediatric pain, but particularly pediatric pain service development around the world. He is co-leader of the ChildKind International Initiative (

Bruce Dick, PhD

Bruce is an associate professor in the Departments of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine & Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. He is a clinical psychologist who also provides clinical services in the Pediatric Chronic Pain Clinic at Stollery Children’s Hospital. His research focuses on the effects of chronic pain on a number of factors including: cognitive function, disability, sleep, stigmatization of patients, and quality of life. Other research interests include distance treatment programs for individuals with pain and their families, educational programs aimed at improving clinical outcomes, and population factors associated with chronic pain.

Anne Ayling Campos BSc PT

Anne Ayling Campos is a physiotherapist with the Chronic Pain Program in the Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Her primary role is that of clinician providing assessment and management to children and adolescents with chronic and persistent pain. She has just recently started presenting and contributing to pediatric pain education and publications.

Tags: pain webinar cihr
Created by Administrator on 2010/09/20 15:44