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Blog: National Pain Awareness Week (Nov 7-13, 2010)

November 8th, 2010

In pursuit of better pain management for children and youth

Centre for Pediatric Pain Research marks National Pain Awareness Week, November 7th to 13th

Halifax, NS – The Centre for Pediatric Pain Research, located at the IWK Health Centre and affiliated with Dalhousie University, is marking National Pain Awareness Week by encouraging parents and health professionals to think about pain and the different ways that it affects children and their families.

Chronic pain affects approximately 20 per cent of children and youth. Headaches and stomach aches are the most common sources of pain among this age group, and research suggests that many of these children will continue to experience chronic pain into adulthood. However, pain in children is not limited to chronic conditions. Children often experience pains in their everyday lives, everything from falling off their bikes to getting a needle.

“Our research is dedicated to better understanding, assessing and treating pain in children,” says Dr. Christine Chambers, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology and Canada Research Chair in Pain and Child Health. “Research is a very important part of helping children with pain and chronic illness.”

“Our interdisciplinary research faculty, consisting of nurses, physicians, psychologists, and our many research trainees, are currently studying a number of important topics in pediatric pain, including what parents can say and do to help their children in pain, assessment of pain in children with developmental disabilities, and improving pain management for diverse groups in Canada as well as in developing countries,” adds Dr. Patrick McGrath, VP of Research at the IWK Health Centre.

In addition to our world-class research, the IWK helps children with pain in the Maritime Provinces and their families via our Complex Pain Service (for outpatients) as well as an Acute Pain Service (for inpatients). The Pediatric Health Psychology Service at the IWK also runs a group treatment program for children with stomach aches, aged 8 to12 years and their parents.

Throughout National Pain Awareness Week, the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research is organizing several activities to increase awareness, such as distributing pain awareness tool kits to health professionals at the IWK and hosting an information booth (daily from November 8th to 12th) in the Gallery of the Dr. Richard B. Goldbloom Research and Clinical Care Pavilion at the IWK Health Centre.