Pain in cognitively impaired, non-communicating children
- aDepartment of Child & Family Psychiatry, Royal United Hospital, Combe Park, Bath BA1 3NG, UK, bDepartment of Child Health, Bath, cUniversity of Bath
- Dr Stallard
- Accepted 20 August 2001
AIM To detail the everyday occurrence of pain in non-communicating children with cognitive impairment.
METHODS Thirty four parents of cognitively impaired verbally non-communicating children completed pain diaries over a two week period. Each day, for five defined periods, parents rated whether their child had been in pain, and if so, its severity and duration.
RESULTS Twenty five (73.5%) children experienced pain on at least one day, with moderate or severe levels of pain being experienced by 23 (67.6%). Four children (11.7%) experienced moderate or severe pain lasting longer than 30 minutes on five or more days. No child was receiving active pain management.
CONCLUSIONS Everyday pain in children with severe cognitive impairment is common, yet is rarely actively treated.