The effect of a pain educational video intervention upon child pain-related outcomes: A randomized controlled study

Emma Rheel*, Kelly Ickmans, Aline Wauters, Dimitri M. L. Van Ryckeghem, Anneleen Malfliet, Tine Vervoort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background Pain neuroscience education (PNE) has received increasing research attention demonstrating beneficial effects on pain-related outcomes in adults. Conversely, studies on the effectiveness of PNE in children are scarce. Methods This study investigated the effect of a pain educational video intervention on child pain-related outcomes (i.e. experienced pain intensity, pain-related fear and catastrophic worry about pain, pain threshold and pain knowledge) in healthy children undergoing an experimental pain task. Furthermore, the moderating role of children's demographic (i.e. sex and age) and psychological (i.e. baseline pain knowledge and anticipated pain intensity, pain-related fear and catastrophic worry) characteristics was examined. Participants were 89 children (M-age = 11.85, SD = 1.78), randomly assigned to either a condition whereby they were instructed to watch a brief pain educational video (i.e. experimental group) or to a control condition whereby they did not watch any video. Results Study findings revealed that accurate pain knowledge and pain threshold were higher amongst children in the experimental group compared to the control group. In contrast with expectations, no main effects of the video intervention were observed for experienced pain intensity, pain-related fear and catastrophic worry. Moderation analyses indicated that the video intervention contributed, in comparison with the control condition, to higher levels of pain knowledge amongst younger children only and to higher pain thresholds amongst boys only. Conclusions Further investigation is needed to optimize pain educational video interventions and to determine whether more beneficial outcomes can be found in clinical (i.e. non-experimental) situations and in children with persistent or recurring pain problems. Significance Examining the impact of pain educational interventions within a non-clinical setting is deemed particularly important given that adaptive pain coping strategies likely play an important role in preventing the development and maintenance of future maladaptive pain-related behaviour. Further, study findings provide preliminary evidence of baseline and demographic (i.e. age and sex) characteristics explaining differences in the effect of a pain educational video intervention in pain knowledge and pain-related experiences during experimental pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2094-2111
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Volume25
Issue number10
Early online date8 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • THERAPEUTIC NEUROSCIENCE EDUCATION
  • LOW-BACK-PAIN
  • NEUROPHYSIOLOGY EDUCATION
  • CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • CATASTROPHIC THINKING
  • MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN
  • PEDIATRIC PAIN
  • FACES SCALES
  • SELF-REPORT
  • DISABILITY

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