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Pain Management in the Pediatric Palliative Care Population

Journal title
Journal of nursing scholarship : an official publication of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
Publication year
Thomas, R.; Phillips, M.; Hamilton, R. J.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this integrative review was to identify, review, synthesize, and analyze the current literature related to pain management in the pediatric palliative care population from infancy through adolescence. METHODS: The literature was searched for the terms palliative, pediatric, and pain in PubMed, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied HeALTH LITERATUre (CINAHL) Complete, and Google Scholar. The search was limited to papers in English that had been published from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2016. RESULTS: These searches resulted in 918 articles, of which 29 met inclusion criteria. These 29 articles were reviewed and reported. Four broad themes emerged: patient and family experience, pain assessment, pharmacological pain management, and nonpharmaceutical interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Gaps in current research have been identified, such as investigating pediatric pain scales for the palliative care population and new complementary and alternative medical therapy and other interventions. More research is needed to bring innovative pain management interventions to the attention of pediatric caregivers. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: A better understanding of current research on pain in the pediatric palliative care population can improve patient care and lead to better research in this specialty field.

Research abstracts