What Do the Parents of Children Who Have Chronic Pain Expect from Their First Visit to a Pediatric Chronic Pain Clinic?
BACKGROUND: Chronic pain in childhood is increasingly recognized as a significant clinical problem. Best-practice management of pediatric chronic pain in a multidisciplinary pain clinic involves a variety of treatment modalities. It is important that parents of children treated in these settings understand the different treatment options available for their children. By involving parents more effectively, care providers may more efficiently address unmet treatment needs and improve tailoring of treatment programs aimed at increasing function, reducing pain-related disability and improving quality of life.OBJECTIVES: To explore the expectations held by parents for their first visit to a pediatric multidisciplinary pain clinic.METHODS: Fourteen parents completed a paper-based survey exploring their expectations immediately before their first visit to a multidisciplinary pediatric pain clinic in a tertiary care children’s hospital.RESULTS: Responses from parents suggest a clear desire for information about the causes of their child’s pain, treatment options available at the pain clinic, effective strategies to enhance children’s ability to cope with pain, and the effects of pain on both body and mood. Most parents rated the various treatment options as important for their child. All parents indicated it was very important to have the pain team ‘be there’ for them.CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that parents want more information about chronic pain and treatment options. Pediatric chronic pain clinics have the ability to assist children with chronic pain and their families considerably by providing information about chronic pain and the various treatment options available to them.