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Prevalence and distribution of pain in children 

Prevalence and distribution of pain in children
Chapter:
Prevalence and distribution of pain in children
Author(s):

Bonnie J. Stevens

and William T. Zempsky

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199642656.003.0002
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date: 23 May 2019

There has been a paucity of studies that have attempted to determine the prevalence and distribution of pain (acute or chronic) in large groups of infants and children across multiple settings. Rather, there is a preponderance of single-site studies that report local prevalence and distribution of paediatric pain data. Although one could extrapolate these results to gain a broader sense of pain in children, this approach would garner only a general estimate at best. Furthermore, studies of pain prevalence vary as to the pain and prevalence definitions used, the reporting period (i.e. point prevalence, period prevalence), and stratification by duration of involvement, which makes comparison of findings challenging. In this chapter, definitions of prevalence and acute and chronic pain will be clarified and used to explore the prevalence and distribution of pain in hospitals and in community health care settings for infants and children. Recommendations for clinical practice and future research will be proposed.

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