Children and Adolescents with Pain in Primary care Biopsychosocial determinants and behavioral medicine treatment in a physical therapy framework
Abstract: Pain during childhood and adolescents is prevalent and longstanding pain can have severe consequences for children, their families and in the long run for the society. Persisting pain influences many aspects of life and pain-related disability is often associated with impairment, decreased health-related quality of life, school functioning, participation in social life, emotional well-being, and with increased healthcare utilization. The overall aim was to explore, with cross-sectional design, pain conditions, to identify biopsychosocial determinants and their association with pain-related disability, and to study the feasibility of applying a behavioral medicine treatment for adolescents experiencing musculoskeletal pain using randomized controlled design and multimethod approach. Samples of children and adolescents and their parents seeking primary care physical therapy for a pain condition, and a sample of treating physical therapists were included.The results showed that some children had profiles of biopsychosocial determinants that could increase the risk for long-term pain-related disability. Many had long pain duration and multiple pain locations. Girls reported higher levels of catastrophizing compared to boys, who in turn used more behavioral distraction generally regarded as a positive coping strategy.Behavioral medicine treatment, based on a biopsychosocial approach, targeting adolescents with pain was shown to be feasible for use in primary care, with promising outcomes. Tailoring of the treatment was suboptimal but the effect of behavioral medicine treatment in pain-related disability exceeded the effect of the control treatment. The satisfaction with treatment content and results were high for both the control- and experimental condition, significantly higher for the experimental condition as rated by participants. Learning and delivering the behavioral medicine intervention was perceived challenging but rewarding by the treating physical therapists. The biopsychosocial approach in tailoring the treatment, and dialogs with parents were identified as key aspects in the behavioral medicine treatment program.In conclusion, in children seeking primary care for pain, the factors associated with pain-related disability were complex and interrelated. The findings highlight the importance for primary care health care providers to apply a biopsychosocial approach in assessment and treatment, for improvement of activities and participation, and thereby helping children and adolescents regain health.
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