Gender differences in the efficacy of psychological therapies for the management of chronic and recurrent pain in children and adolescents

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Gender differences in the efficacy of psychological therapies for the management of chronic and recurrent pain in children and adolescents

Chronic pain is very common in children and can be managed effectively in primary care. Pain in children can occur after some specific events like injury or any viral infection or sometimes even may not have an apparent cause. Recovery can take time and requires the significant medical interventions and family support to cope up with this pain. However, sometimes there are no quick solutions which can eliminate the pain. If managed inappropriately, children may suffer emotional and psychological scars which can persist throughout their life.

Gender differences in chronic pain were reported to emerge during adolescence, although it is still unclear that if this included the responses to treatment. To analyze this, a meta-analysis was conducted to examine that whether gender differences were present on outcome variables at pre-treatment and whether the efficacy of psychological therapies for pediatric chronic pain which differs between the boys and girls at post-treatment and follow-up time points.

Different searches were conducted, to extend the two existing Cochrane reviews of randomized-controlled trials examining the efficacy of psychological therapies for chronic and recurrent pain in children and adolescents. In the conducted trial, 46 articles were eligible for inclusion criteria and data were extracted regarding pain, disability, anxiety and depression in both boys and girls at pre-treatment and follow-up time points. None of the studies reported the data separately for different genders, so authors of all the studies were contacted and out of which 17 studies provided the data. Girls enrolled in the clinical trial were almost double the number of boys were enrolled into the clinical trials of psychological therapies for pediatric chronic pain in which girls reported higher depression and anxiety than boys before the treatment. Girls with headache also reported significantly greater pain before the treatment. However, the treatment benefit was consistent across the genders. One exception was for post-treatment disability in children with non-headache pain conditions; girls exhibited a significant effect of treatment relative to control condition but no such effect was observed for boys. After the analyses, it was concluded that further research should examine whether the mechanisms of treatment efficacy differ between the boys and girls and also consider the impact of pre-treatment gender differences on treatment response.

Source:

Postgrad Med.

Link to the source:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27984491

Original title of article:

Sex differences in the efficacy of psychological therapies for the management of chronic and recurrent pain in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Authors:

Boerner KE ,Eccleston C, Chambers CT, Keogh E.

Postgrad Med.
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