Parents' Treatment of Their Children's Pain at Home: Pharmacological and Nonpharmacological Approaches
INTRODUCTION: During childhood, pain often is experienced on a nearly daily basis. This study focuses on pain alleviation techniques provided by parents, because children's painful experiences are most often treated at home. Hypotheses addressed various factors that can influence use of pain alleviation techniques, including parents' level of catastrophizing about their children's pain, children's age, and conversations with health care professionals. METHOD: A total of 756 parents of children ages 6 to 17 years completed an online survey regarding pain alleviation including use and effectiveness of pharmacological and nonpharmacological techniques, pain catastrophizing, and questions regarding dialogue with health care professionals. RESULTS: Parents with increased pain catastrophizing used more pharmacological techniques, and child self-administration of pain alleviation techniques increased with the child's age. Parents were more likely to have spoken with their health care professional about pharmacological techniques. DISCUSSION: This study provides information that can help health care professionals initiate conversations regarding treatment options and align recommendations with techniques that parents are likely to use, and it can help health care professionals provide supportive alternative recommendations.
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