July 1988

Childhood Pain: Current Issues, Research, and Management,

Author Affiliations

Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics University of Texas Medical School at Houston Houston, TX 77225


by Dorothea M. Ross and Sheila A. Ross, 396 pp, $39.50, Baltimore, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1988.

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(7):710. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150070024016

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This comprehensive text examines childhood pain from historical, scientific, and management perspectives. While the psychologic aspects of childhood pain are emphasized, neurophysiologic mechanisms and biomedical treatments are also presented.

The overview presented in the first chapter provides a history of the conceptual formulation of pain and of research about its etiology and treatment. Concepts such as the gate-control theory are discussed, and advances of the past two decades, such as the discovery of endorphins, the proliferation of pain clinics, and theoretical developments, are also presented.

The chapter entitled "The Child's View" contains delightful anecdotes depicting children's conceptions of pain. The examples strongly refute previously held assertions that children are unable to describe pain. Not only are children able to verbalize their own pain experiences, they also have some concept of the etiology of pain and its effects. Children demonstrate an understanding of psychologic as well as physical aspects of pain

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