The Study Group

The children that participated in the study were between the ages of ten and eighteen with the most common age being fourteen. Each child had one parent or guardian participate with them. Most of the children came from homes that had an average income of $55,000. The majority of the participants were female ad the majority of the parents who participated were also female.

Anxiety Levels

The level of anxiety the child had concerning the operation, their health, and other factors played a large part in the amount of pain they experienced immediately following the surgery, and up to two weeks after the surgical event.
It was noted that children who had the procedure, and the reason for the procedure explained to them in detail had less than half as much anxiety about their surgery as children who were not completely informed.
Pediatricians and medical professionals working with children can help reduce the pain their patients will experience by providing accurate information concerning the condition, the treatment for the condition, and what the child can expect after the surgery.

Pre-surgical sleep

On the night before a child is scheduled to have surgery the more sleep they get, the less their pain will be after the surgery. This tendency towards more pain following the procedure can last as long as two weeks. Children who were well rested were more able to cope with the stress of the procedure and therefore, experienced lower levels of pain.
Pediatricians and medical professionals working with children should consider giving the child a sleep aid on the night before they are scheduled to have a surgical procedure. The sleep aid will help the child to relax and allow their bodies to rest and prepare for the upcoming ordeal.

Parental Catastrophizing

The parent or guardian of the child plays a large role in the amount of pain the child experiences after surgery. The mental attitude of the parent can transfer to the child and cause the child to be tense and anxious about their condition. The more tension and stress the child feels the more pain they feel.
Pediatricians and medical professionals working with children should make every effort to educate the parents and guardians on the child’s illness, the procedure the child is having done, and what they can expect after the procedure. If the parent or guardian is calm and assured about the procedure the child will remain calmer and be less likely to experience post-operative discomfort that is severe enough for pain medication.
The parent or guardian of the child plays a large role in the anxiety levels of the child. If the child senses that their parent is nervous, or scared, then the child will worry and become stressed. Parents need to be educated and informed, and they must educate and inform their children to reduce the pain following a surgical event.