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Pain Research and Management
Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 59-64

Improving the Assessment of Pediatric Chronic Pain: Harnessing the Potential of Electronic Diaries

Jennifer N Stinson

Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, and Lawrence S Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Current methods for evaluating chronic pain in children suffer from methodological problems. Real-time data capture approaches using electronic diaries have been proposed as a new standard for pain measurement. However, there is limited information available regarding the development, feasibility and validity of these approaches in children. The present paper reviews problems with current measures; rationale for developing real-time data capture approaches using electronic diaries; mechanics of developing electronic pain diaries; current evidence regarding their usability, feasibility and validity; and discusses future directions for research in this area.