Current Content
Volume 43 - Number 1
January/February 2017

Including Parents in the Treatment of Pediatric Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Shayleigh K. Dickson

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a clinically diagnosed chronic pain syndrome characterized by severe pain and functional disability following a minor injury. The affected limb often has evidence of changes in sensory, vasomotor, sudomotor/edema, and/or motor/tropic function. The diagnosis of CRPS in the pediatric population is increasingly common, especially among female adolescents. The pain experience of adolescents with CRPS is best understood using the biopsychosocial framework, and the most effective treatment programs target biological, psychological, and social factors. Treatment for CRPS is multidisciplinary and typically includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychology. The parent-child dyad that develops when the child has CRPS is complex and characterized by significant psychological distress, ineffective parenting, and poor coping. The purpose of this article is to describe the role of parents in the treatment of adolescents with CRPS. To promote successful remission from pain and restoration of functional ability, parents should be included in treatment programs. Nurses caring for adolescents with CRPS can assist parents in developing adaptive parenting skills.