Introduction Pain in paediatric inpatients remains an important clinical problem. Pain measurement to diagnose pain is an essential first step, that must be followed by an in depth pain history when pain is diagnosed or expected. Goals of a pain history are the reduction of unnecessary pain and suffering, promoting recovery and improving functionality of the patient. We developed a structured pain history for hospitalised children.
Methods Based on a literature study, key elements to be included in the pain history were identified. This resulted in a preliminary version of the pain history, that was discussed with seven specialists from three academic centres in the Netherlands and Belgium, in two rounds. The pain history was finalised after consensus was reached.
Results The final version consists of twenty-six questions, that highlight the main themes: (a) a detailed investigation of the symptoms, (b) aetiology and (c) relieving interventions. After completion, the pain history gives an overview of symptoms, possible causes and influencing factors and can be used as a base to start and evaluate interventions by the professionals. The pain history contains a part for children and a part for parents and is suitable for children aged 0–18 years.
Conclusion A pain history for hospitalised children is available. This document is a tool, helpful to investigate the pain in children accurately. We strongly advise the pain history to be used to reduce unnecessary pain in paediatric patients.