Development of the Aim to Decrease Anxiety and Pain Treatment for Pediatric Functional Abdominal Pain Disorders

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Abstract

Objectives:

To evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the Aim to Decrease Anxiety and Pain Treatment (ADAPT), a brief, on-line and in-person behavioral intervention targeting pain and anxiety in youth with functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs).

Methods:

Patients were recruited from several outpatient pediatric gastroenterology clinics. Nine participants (ages 9–13) completed the full protocol. Thematic analysis of detailed qualitative feedback was obtained via semistructured patient and caregiver interviews after treatment was conducted. Feasibility and preliminary outcomes were examined using nonparametric tests.

Results:

Preliminary results indicate that the ADAPT treatment is feasible, acceptable, and potentially effective for youth with FAPD. Treatment completers reported that they enjoyed the program and used the skills to manage their pain and worry. Results also indicated that the majority of participants experienced a reduction in anxiety and several reported reductions in pain and functional disability levels.

Conclusions:

Findings from this study suggest that targeting both pain and anxiety may positively impact outcomes in youth with FAPD. The ADAPT intervention has the potential to provide a cost effective and practical application of cognitive behavioral therapy using an innovative combination of in-person and technology-based platforms. Overall, the ADAPT intervention is a promising and innovative intervention to improve the outcomes of youth with FAPD.

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