A psychological intervention for pediatric chest pain: development and open trial.

Noncardiac chest pain (NCCP) is a common and persistent problem for children and adolescents; typically there is no clear medical cause. To date, no psychological intervention has been studied for chest pain in a pediatric sample.
(a) We developed a brief psychological treatment for chest pain and associated worry in children and adolescents with NCCP. This program includes psychoeducation, breathing retraining, cognitive coping strategies, and 1 session of parent education and coaching regarding the impact of reinforcement on pain and coping behaviors. (b) We treated 9 youngsters with chronic NCCP, assessing pain, somatization, disability, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and coping. Assessments were conducted before, after, and 6 months following treatment.
After treatment, there was a significant decrease in chest pain and somatization. Benefits were maintained at 6-month follow-up. There was no decrease in associated psychological symptoms.
A brief psychological treatment for pediatric NCCP is feasible to administer and may help alleviate symptoms of pediatric NCCP. Further study in a randomized trial is needed.
AuthorsJoshua D Lipsitz, Merav Gur, Anne Marie Albano, Brian Sherman
JournalJournal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP (J Dev Behav Pediatr) 2011 Feb-Mar Vol. 32 Issue 2 Pg. 153-7 ISSN: 1536-7312 [Electronic] United States
PMID21200331 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural)
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Chest Pain (therapy)
  • Child
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders (therapy)
  • Psychotherapy, Brief
  • United States

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