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Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
SJR: 0.121 SNIP: 0.228 CiteScore™: 0.17

ISSN Imprimir: 0896-2960
ISSN En Línea: 2162-6553

Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevPhysRehabilMed.v16.i1.40
24 pages

Pain in Youth: A Primer for Current Practice

Joyce M. Engel
University of Washington, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Box 356490, Seattle, WA 98195-6490
Deborah Kartin
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington


The importance of adequate pain evaluation and intervention is being increasingly recognized in health care. The purpose of this article is to provide rehabilitation practitioners with a basic introduction to current practice for pain in youth. The complex nature of pain is explored in relation to current definitions of pain and theories of pain transmission. A review of common pain syndromes in youth associated with physical trauma or injury, physical disease and disability, procedural pain, and pain not associated with identifiable causes is presented. Multidimensional strategies for the evaluation of pain in youth are discussed, including cognitive status, medical and developmental histories, physical examination, and functional skills assessment. A brief overview of pain assessments, such as standardized evaluations on the basis of behavioral observations, physiological parameters, and self-report is provided. Intervention strategies for pain, such as pharmacologic management, physical agent modalities, and cognitive behavioral approaches are introduced. Gaps in the knowledge base, suggestions for future research, and implications related to health service policy and pain in youth are addressed.