Cognitive-behavioral therapy for children with functional abdominal pain and their parents decreases pain and other symptoms

Rona L. Levy, Shelby Langer, Lynn S. Walker, Joan M. Romano, Dennis L. Christie, Nader Youssef, Melissa M. Dupen, Andrew D. Feld, Sheri A. Ballard, Ericka M. Welsh, Robert W. Jeffery, Melissa Young, Melissa J. Coffey, William E. Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Unexplained abdominal pain in children has been shown to be related to parental responses to symptoms. This randomized controlled trial tested the efficacy of an intervention designed to improve outcomes in idiopathic childhood abdominal pain by altering parental responses to pain and children's ways of coping and thinking about their symptoms.Methods: Two hundred children with persistent functional abdominal pain and their parents were randomly assigned to one of two conditionsa three-session intervention of cognitive-behavioral treatment targeting parents' responses to their children's pain complaints and children's coping responses, or a three-session educational intervention that controlled for time and attention. Parents and children were assessed at pretreatment, and 1 week, 3 months, and 6 months post-treatment. Outcome measures were child and parent reports of child pain levels, function, and adjustment. Process measures included parental protective responses to children's symptom reports and child coping Methods.Results: Children in the cognitive-behavioral condition showed greater baseline to follow-up decreases in pain and gastrointestinal symptom severity (as reported by parents) than children in the comparison condition (time × treatment interaction, P<0.01). Also, parents in the cognitive-behavioral condition reported greater decreases in solicitous responses to their child's symptoms compared with parents in the comparison condition (time × treatment interaction, P <0.0001).Conclusions: An intervention aimed at reducing protective parental responses and increasing child coping skills is effective in reducing children's pain and symptom levels compared with an educational control condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-956
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume105
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

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Cognitive Therapy
Abdominal Pain
Parents
Pain
Social Adjustment
Process Assessment (Health Care)
Psychological Adaptation
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for children with functional abdominal pain and their parents decreases pain and other symptoms. / Levy, Rona L.; Langer, Shelby; Walker, Lynn S.; Romano, Joan M.; Christie, Dennis L.; Youssef, Nader; Dupen, Melissa M.; Feld, Andrew D.; Ballard, Sheri A.; Welsh, Ericka M.; Jeffery, Robert W.; Young, Melissa; Coffey, Melissa J.; Whitehead, William E.

In: American Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol. 105, No. 4, 04.2010, p. 946-956.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Levy, RL, Langer, S, Walker, LS, Romano, JM, Christie, DL, Youssef, N, Dupen, MM, Feld, AD, Ballard, SA, Welsh, EM, Jeffery, RW, Young, M, Coffey, MJ & Whitehead, WE 2010, 'Cognitive-behavioral therapy for children with functional abdominal pain and their parents decreases pain and other symptoms', American Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 105, no. 4, pp. 946-956. https://doi.org/10.1038/ajg.2010.106
Levy, Rona L. ; Langer, Shelby ; Walker, Lynn S. ; Romano, Joan M. ; Christie, Dennis L. ; Youssef, Nader ; Dupen, Melissa M. ; Feld, Andrew D. ; Ballard, Sheri A. ; Welsh, Ericka M. ; Jeffery, Robert W. ; Young, Melissa ; Coffey, Melissa J. ; Whitehead, William E. / Cognitive-behavioral therapy for children with functional abdominal pain and their parents decreases pain and other symptoms. In: American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2010 ; Vol. 105, No. 4. pp. 946-956.
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