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.