Abstract: Chronic pain is a growing problem in children, with prevalence as high as 30.8%. Acupuncture has been found to be useful in many chronic pain conditions, and may be of clinical value in a multidisciplinary treatment program. The basic principles of acupuncture are reviewed, as well as studies exploring basic mechanisms of acupuncture and clinical efficacy. Conditions commonly treated in the pediatric pain clinic, including headache, abdominal pain, fibromyalgia, juvenile arthritis, complex regional pain syndrome, cancer pain, as well as perioperative pain studies are reviewed and discussed. Areas in need of further research are identified, and procedural aspects of acupuncture practice and safety studies are reviewed. Acupuncture can be an effective adjuvant in the care of pediatric patients with painful conditions, both in a chronic and an acute setting. Further studies, including randomized controlled trials, as well as trials of comparative effectiveness are needed.
Abstract: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and functional dyspepsia (FD) are common problems in the pediatric population, with up to 7% of school-age children and up to 8% of adolescents suffering from epigastric pain, heartburn, and regurgitation. Reflux is defined as the passage of stomach contents into the esophagus, while GERD refers to reflux symptoms that are associated with symptoms or complications—such as pain, asthma, aspiration pneumonia, or chronic cough. FD, as defined by the Rome III classification, is a persistent upper abdominal pain or discomfort, not related to bowel movements, and without any organic cause, that is present for at least two months prior to diagnosis. Endoscopic examination is typically negative in FD, whereas patients with GERD may have evidence of esophagitis or gastritis either grossly or microscopically. Up to 70% of children with dyspepsia exhibit delayed gastric emptying. Treatment of GERD and FD requires an integrative approach that may include pharmacologic therapy, treating concurrent constipation, botanicals, mind body techniques, improving sleep hygiene, increasing physical activity, and traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
Abstract: There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that nutritional status during treatment for cancer has a significant impact on treatment-related toxicities and outcomes among children and adolescents with cancer. The effects of nutritional status appear to extend into survivorship with a large proportion of survivors at risk for a variety of nutrition-related morbidities. The influence of dietary intake on overall treatment outcomes and long-term morbidities is largely unknown. In adults, evidence suggests that greater adherence to cancer prevention dietary guidelines improves long-term health outcomes among survivors of cancer. Surveys describing dietary intake among survivors of childhood cancer have found that most survivors are not meeting the recommended guidelines for many dietary nutrients and this may have an unfavorable effect on nutrition-related outcomes. However, more research is needed in this area so that well-designed clinical trials may be developed and tested. This review presents an overview of the existing literature describing dietary intake among survivors of childhood cancer, the clinical implications of reported dietary behaviors among survivors, and identifies areas for future research.
Abstract: As human-driven climate change advances, many adults fret about the losses of livelihoods, houses and farms that may result. Children fret about their parents’ worries and about information they hear, but do not really understand about the world’s climate and perhaps about their own futures. In chronically worried or anxious children, blood cortisol levels rise and adverse changes accrue in various organ systems that prefigure adult-life diseases. Meanwhile, for many millions of children in poor countries who hear little news and live with day-to-day fatalism, climate change threatens the fundamentals of life—food sufficiency, safe drinking water and physical security—and heightens the risks of diarrhoeal disease, malaria and other climate-sensitive infections. Poor and disadvantaged populations, and especially their children, will bear the brunt of climate-related trauma, disease and premature death over the next few decades and, less directly, from social disruption, impoverishment and displacement. The recent droughts in Somalia as the Indian Ocean warmed and monsoonal rains failed, on top of chronic civil war, forced hundreds of thousands of Somali families into north-eastern Kenya’s vast Dadaab refugee camps, where, for children, shortages of food, water, hygiene and schooling has endangered physical, emotional and mental health. Children warrant special concern, both as children per se and as the coming generation likely to face ever more extreme climate conditions later this century. As children, they face diverse risks, from violent weather, proliferating aeroallergens, heat extremes and mobilised microbes, through to reduced recreational facilities, chronic anxieties about the future and health hazards of displacement and local resource conflict. Many will come to regard their parents’ generation and complacency as culpable.
Abstract: This review article addresses the process, intention, and therapeutic value of clinical hypnosis with children and adolescents. A brief historical perspective is followed by a digest of the published laboratory and clinical research that has accelerated substantially over the past two decades. This review lends appropriate credence to the benefits and integration to clinical practice of this powerful tool for teaching young people self-regulation skills. The breadth of application is described, and several clinical vignettes are provided as examples of what is possible. In addition to the provision of the most relevant citations in the pediatric, psychological, and neuroscience literature, this synopsis concludes with information regarding availability of skill development training in pediatric clinical hypnosis.
Abstract: More than 80% of children and young adults diagnosed with invasive cancer will survive five or more years beyond their cancer diagnosis. This population has an increased risk for serious illness- and treatment-related morbidity and premature mortality. A number of these adverse health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease and some second primary neoplasms, either have modifiable risk factors or can be successfully treated if detected early. Absolute risk models that project a personalized risk of developing a health outcome can be useful in patient counseling, in designing intervention studies, in forming prevention strategies, and in deciding upon surveillance programs. Here, we review existing absolute risk prediction models that are directly applicable to survivors of a childhood cancer, discuss the concepts and interpretation of absolute risk models, and examine ways in which these models can be used applied in clinical practice and public health.