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Module 2: Relieving Pain and Other Symptoms

Developmental Factors in Pain Assessment and Treatment


 Facilitator's Guide Download PDF  PowerPoint Download PowerPoint

The goal of this lecture is to enhance the ability of practitioners from multiple disciplines to apply key principles and tools in the assessment of pain in children of all developmental stages and abilities. The learning activity begins with 25-minute lecture and discussion about the goals and principles of pain assessment and how a child's developmental stage affects how pain is assessed and treated. Following this lecture, the facilitators will lead an additional 20-minutes of lecture and discussion on the policies, procedures, and tools in use at their specific institution. Suggestions for this second part of the session are described at the end of this Facilitator's Guide.

This learning activity is one of three sessions related to pain assessment in the Relieving Pain and Symptoms module of the IPPC curriculum. Learning Activities 2.2 and 2.3 are case-study based seminars. Activity 2.2: "Pain Assessment in the Absence of Self-Report," presents three cases designed to illustrate and elicit discussion about pain assessment in pre-verbal or non-verbal children. Activity 2.3, "Chronic Pain, Adolescents, and Pain Assessment," addresses the assessment and treatment of chronic or recurrent pain in adolescents including clinician concerns about drug-seeking behavior and the importance of conducting a comprehensive pain assessment according to principles of assessment and free of racial and cultural bias.

We recommend that you review facilitator's guides for all three activities, consider the knowledge and experience of your intended audience, and then decide which of the learning activities will best meet the needs of your audience.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Apply key principles of pain assessment and knowledge about child development to inform decisions about pain assessment and treatment.
  • Recognize and use developmentally appropriate pain measurement tools.
  • Practice pain assessment in accordance with the institution's policies and procedures.
  • Recognize that a child's physiological, cognitive and emotional development has an impact on:
    • Child's pain perception
    • Available methods of pain assessment
    • Roles of the child, parents, and caregivers in pain assessment
    • Availability and usefulness of some interventions

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