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Practical management of functional abdominal pain in children
  1. L K Brown1,
  2. R M Beattie2,
  3. M P Tighe1
  1. 1Department of Paediatric, Poole Hospital NHS Trust, Poole, Dorset, UK
  2. 2Department of Child Health, University Hospital Southampton, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr M P Tighe, Department of Paediatrics, Poole Hospital NHS Trust, Longfleet Rd, Poole BH15 2JB, Dorset, UK; mpt195{at}


Functional abdominal pain (FAP) is common in childhood, but is not often caused by disease. It is often the impact of the pain rather than the pain itself that results in referral to the clinician. In this review, we will summarise the currently available evidence and discuss the functional dimensions of the presentation, within the framework of commonly expressed parental questions. Using the Rome III criteria, we discuss how to classify the functional symptoms, investigate appropriately, provide reassurance regarding parental worries of chronic disease. We outline how to explain the functional symptoms to parents and an individualised strategy to help restore function.

  • General Paediatrics
  • Gastroenterology
  • Paediatric Practice

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