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Chronic Pain Assessment Tools for Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

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Kingsnorth, S.; Orava, T.; Provvidenza, C.; Adler, E.; Ami, N.; Gresley-Jones, T.; Mankad, D.; Slonim, N.; Fay, L.; Joachimides, N.; Hoffman, A.; Hung, R.; Fehlings, D.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Chronic pain in children with cerebral palsy (CP) is underrecognized, leading to detriments in their physical, social, and mental well-being. Our objective was to identify, describe, and critique pediatric chronic pain assessment tools and make recommendations for clinical use for children with CP. Secondly, develop an evidence-informed toolbox to support clinicians in the assessment of chronic pain in children with disabilities. METHODS: Ovid Medline, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Embase databases were systematically searched by using key terms "chronic pain" and "clinical assessment tool" between January 2012 and July 2014. Tools from multiple pediatric health conditions were explored contingent on inclusion criteria: (1) children 1 to 18 years; (2) assessment focus on chronic pain; (3) psychometric properties reported; (4) written in English between 1980 and 2014. Pediatric chronic pain assessment tools were extracted and corresponding validation articles were sought for review. Detailed tool descriptions were composed and each tool underwent a formal critique of psychometric properties and clinical utility. RESULTS: Of the retrieved 2652 articles, 250 articles met eligibility, from which 52 chronic pain assessment tools were retrieved. A consensus among interprofessional working group members determined 7 chronic pain interference tools to be of importance. Not all tools have been validated with children with CP nor is there 1 tool to meet the needs of all children experiencing chronic pain. CONCLUSIONS: This study has systematically reviewed and recommended, through expert consensus, valid and reliable chronic pain interference assessment tools for children with disabilities.

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