In the United States, some 4 million surgical procedures are performed on children every year. Unfortunately, severe post-surgical pain is common and can govern the stress response after surgery, which can result in delayed recovery with significant post-surgical pain that may progress to chronic pain.
‘Moderate to severe post-operative pain in children affected both physical and psychosocial health.’
Researchers at Seattle Children's Hospital collected data from the parents of 915 children admitted to the hospital for surgery from January 2012 to August 2013. They measured health related quality of life (HRQOL) and pain in a large heterogeneous pediatric inpatient population from a pre-surgery baseline to one-month follow-up at home. They also examined predictors of clinically significant changes in HRQOL in the children a month following surgery.
This is the first study to examine pain and HRQOL outcomes in a broad population of children undergoing a wide range of inpatient surgeries. Study results showed that 23 percent of the children had a clinically significant deterioration in HRQOL from baseline to one month after surgery. Factors associated with HRQOL deterioration included higher child age and moderate to severe pain at one-month follow-up.
"Our findings demonstrate that pain affected both physical and psychosocial health," said Jennifer A. Rabbitts, lead author of the study. "Unfortunately, over the past several decades, children's rates of pain in the early post-operative period after inpatient surgery have not changed. Measurement of broad health outcomes is essential when assessing pediatric surgical populations and should be considered in future research."
About the American Pain Society
Based in Chicago, the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering.
APS is the professional home for investigators involved in all aspects of pain research including basic, translational, clinical and health services research to obtain the support and inspiration they need to flourish professionally. APS strongly advocates expansion of high quality pain research to help advance science to achieve effective and responsible pain relief.