Psychological Barriers to Optimal Pain Management in Infants and Children

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Objective:To discuss the numerous psychological barriers to optimum pain relief in infants, children, and adolescents.Data Sources:The professional and scientific literature on pediatric pain was accessed by means of Psychlit and Medline searches. Our clinical experience with patients was also used.Data syntheses:The potential barriers to optimum management were discussed in terms of cognitive and emotional developmental barriers, perceived lack of control, children's knowledge and attitudes, and characteristics of children.Conclusions:The psychological barriers to optimum pain relief are significant and attention to these barriers could lead to better pain management.

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