Posted on 12-07-2017

Parental pain management strategies in pediatric cancer-related pain

To remedy this lack of understanding, Tutelman et al. conducted a survey of 230 parents and caregivers to assess pain management strategies in parents of children undergoing or post-treatment for cancer.  Parents and caregivers reported significant amounts of pain in their children, even in those who were no longer receiving active treatment. Physical and psychological pain management strategies were much more prevalent than pharmacological approaches. The most frequent strategies used were distraction and rest for the child. Pharmacological measures were used much less frequently, and consisted mainly of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Parental confidence in being able to help with their child’s pain was negatively correlated with their perception of pain severity in their child. This suggests that as pain severity increases, caregivers feel less equipped to help their children cope.

Overall, this study provides critical information on how parents and caregivers are able to manage their child’s cancer-related pain. These findings suggest that there is a need for future development of strategies to help parents with pain management, and reveal that cancer-related pain continues to be a significant issue for pediatric populations.    

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Reference: Tutelman et al. (2017). Pain in Children with Cancer: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Parent Management. Clin J Pain.