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Why Unidimensional Pain Measurement Prevails in the Pediatric Acute Pain Context and What Multidimensional Self-Report Methods Can Offer

1
Department of Pain and Palliative Care, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
2
School of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
3
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
4
Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Calgary, AB T3B 6A8, Canada
5
Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2019, 6(12), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6120132
Received: 10 October 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 22 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
Although pain is widely recognized to be a multidimensional experience and defined as such, unidimensional pain measurement focusing on pain intensity prevails in the pediatric acute pain context. Unidimensional assessments fail to provide a comprehensive picture of a child’s pain experience and commonly do little to shape clinical interventions. The current review paper overviews the theoretical and empirical literature supporting the multidimensional nature of pediatric acute pain. Literature reporting concordance data for children’s self-reported sensory, affective and evaluative pain scores in the acute pain context has been reviewed and supports the distinct nature of these dimensions. Multidimensional acute pain measurement holds particular promise for identifying predictive markers of chronicity and may provide the basis for tailoring clinical management. The current paper has described key reasons contributing to the widespread use of unidimensional, rather than multidimensional, acute pediatric pain assessment protocols. Implications for clinical practice, education and future research are considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: child; pain assessment; multidimensional; affective; evaluative; intensity child; pain assessment; multidimensional; affective; evaluative; intensity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jaaniste, T.; Noel, M.; Yee, R.D.; Bang, J.; Tan, A.C.; Champion, G.D. Why Unidimensional Pain Measurement Prevails in the Pediatric Acute Pain Context and What Multidimensional Self-Report Methods Can Offer. Children 2019, 6, 132.

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