The Sensitivity to Change and Responsiveness of the Adult Responses to Children’s Symptoms in Children and Adolescents With Chronic Pain


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Abstract

Objective To examine the sensitivity to change and responsiveness of the Adult Responses to Children’s Symptoms (ARCS) among parents of youth with chronic pain. Methods Participants included 330 youth (89 children aged 7–11 years, 241 children aged 12–17 years) and their parents who participated in randomized controlled trials of family-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic pain. Child pain and disability, parental emotional functioning, and parental responses to child pain were assessed at baseline and posttreatment. Results The Protect and Monitor scales of the ARCS were sensitive to change following intervention for both developmental groups, with clinically meaningful reductions in these behaviors, thereby demonstrating responsiveness. Among the adolescent sample, greater change on some ARCS scales was associated with better parental emotional functioning and lower child pain at posttreatment. Conclusions Findings support the sensitivity to change and responsiveness of the Protect and Monitor scales among parents of youth with chronic pain.

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