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Pain Research and Management
Volume 19 (2014), Issue 4, Pages 212-218

Pain Assessment Using The Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool: A Systematic Review

Ananda Maria Fernandes,1 Catarina De Campos,1 Luis Batalha,1 Ana Perdigão,1 and Eufemia Jacob2

1Nursing School of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
2University of California in Los Angeles School of Nursing, Los Angeles, California, USA

Copyright © 2014 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.


BACKGROUND: The Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool (APPT) is a multidimensional pain assessment tool designed to assess pain location (body outline diagram), intensity (word graphic rating scale) and quality (list of pain descriptors) in hospitalized children eight to 17 years of age.

OBJECTIVES: To identify the age range, health conditions, settings and purpose for which APPT has been used; the components of the APPT that have been used; and the reported clinical and research utility of the APPT.

METHODS: A systematic review of published studies using the APPT was performed. Studies were identified through electronic searches in CINAHL, Medline, PubMed, SciELO and PsycInfo.

RESULTS: Twenty-three studies were analyzed. APPT has been used in patients between two and 68 years of age, with various acute and chronic conditions, in and out of hospital. All but six studies used the three components of the APPT. Most of the studies used the total number of sites marked, mean pain intensity and mean number of pain descriptors selected as main outcome measures; however, scoring methods varied. Studies report that the use of the APPT is relevant for clinical practice and for research.

CONCLUSION: Obtaining self-report of pain using the APPT may help clinicians to tailor pain management interventions. It may also be used in studies to provide a deeper understanding of the pain experience and to examine the effectiveness of pain management interventions. However, outcome measures and methods of scoring the different components of the APPT need to be clearly identified.