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Minerva Pediatrica 2012 October;64(5):493-500


language: English

Functional pain in hospitalised and school children

Lo Curto M. 1, Maggio M. C. 1, Campisi F. 1, Manzo V. 1, Costa A. 1, Montalbano G. 1, Mosa C. 1, Navarra F. 1, Manzoni D. 2, Licastro G. 3, Corsello G. 1

1 Pediatric Department, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; 2 Pediatric Neuropsychiatry, Ospedale G. Di Cristina, Palermo, Palermo, Italy; 3 Pediatric Gastroenterology, Ospedale G. Di Cristina, Palermo, Palermo, Italy


AIM: Aim of the study was to recognise the role of psychological disagreement in children and adolescents suffering from functional pain.
METHODS:Two groups of children, adolescents and their parents were interviewed: group H (hospitalized patients), group S (students, at school).
Suitable investigations excluded organic lesions. The following data were analysed: 1) presence of pain in relation with: i) sex and age; ii) relation with parents, brothers, other relatives, schoolfellows; 2) efficacy of possible treatments.
RESULTS:Group H: 194 patients, median age 10 years; 134 referred pain: 62 out of 92 males and 72 out of 102 females; location of pain: abdomen, limbs, head, back. Family disagreements: 36, functional pain 32; schoolfellows disagreements 114, functional pain 79. Correlations of pain with sex, increasing age, family and schoolfellows disagreements: non statistically significant. Group S: 246 students, median age: 13 years; 188 referred pain: 78 out of 118 males and 110 out of 128 females; pain was statistically more frequent in females, it increased with age. Location of pain: limbs, abdomen, head, back. Family disagreements: 31, functional pain 28, schoolfellows disagreements 140, functional pain 114. Correlations of pain with family and schoolfellows disagreements: non-statistically significant. Several parents gave answers which were different from their children’s. Pharmacological and dietary interventions failed to obtain regression of pain.
CONCLUSION: In both groups, the referred disagreements were not statistically different among children with functional pain and those without pain; such psychological distress was not the only factor causing functional pain. The empiric treatment adopted was inefficacious.

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