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Comment & Response
December 2014

Pain Terminology

Author Affiliations
  • 1Nerve Injury Unit, Departments of Neurology and Pathology (Neuropathology), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(12):1167. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1775

To the Editor I read with interest the Viewpoint recently published in JAMA Pediatrics expressing frustration with the term functional pain to describe the common scenario of chronic pain from unidentified causes.1 However, I question the author’s recommendation to change the name to primary pain disorder.1 Just because the cause of a symptom is unknown does not mean that it has no cause; absence of proof is not proof of absence. Diagnostic delay is common in complex illnesses and not all patients have access to comprehensive diagnostic evaluations.

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