For immediate release: February 25, 2014
Contact: Chuck Weber - 262.473.3018
News from The Journal of Pain
Study Assesses Role of Caregiver Anxiety on Children’s Pain
CHICAGO, Feb. 25, 2014 — When caregivers of children about to undergo surgery show high levels of anxiety and catastrophize about the child’s pain, it may contribute to pain intensity experienced by the child, according to research reported in The Journal of Pain, the peer reviewed publication of the American Pain Society, www.americanpainsociety.org.
Previous studies showed that pain in children can be influenced by the individual characteristics of the children and their parents. The pediatric fear avoidance model has emphasized reciprocal influences of child and parent factors in the development and persistence of chronic pain. Also, it has been shown that child and parental anxiety sensitivity and pain catastrophizing play a central role in the child’s pain experience. Greater pain catastrophizing in children, therefore, is associated with more pain intensity and disability. Pain catastrophizing is defined as an exaggerated negative orientation toward pain, evidenced by magnification, helplessness and rumination thoughts.
Venezuelan researchers studied 102 children and 102 caregivers (mostly mothers) selected in a convenience sample of consecutive children scheduled for elective surgery. The study investigated the association between caregivers’ anxiety sensitivity and catastrophizing about their children’s pain, and also assessed the link between the child’s anxiety sensitivity, pain catastrophizing and the responses of caregivers to their pain with the reported children’s pain intensity.
Results showed that children who had higher anxiety sensitivity reported higher pain catastrophizing, and caregivers with higher anxiety sensitivity reported higher catastrophizing about their children’s pain. The authors noted that child and caregiver anxiety sensitivity was expressed by catastrophizing. Also, higher levels of reported pain in children were associated with higher levels of caregiver pain catastrophizing.
About the American Pain Society
Based in Chicago, the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering. APS was founded in 1978 with 510 charter members. From the outset, the group was conceived as a multidisciplinary organization. The Board of Directors includes physicians, nurses, psychologists, basic scientists, pharmacists, policy analysts and others. For more information on APS, visit www.americanpainsociety.org.