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Clin Psychol Rev. 2002 Jun;22(5):753-86.

Painful procedures in pediatric cancer. A comparison of interventions.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.


Different interventions (i.e., cognitive-behavioral, pharmacological) and their combination were examined and compared to assist pediatric patients with cancer to manage distress during painful procedures. Findings revealed that cognitive protocols are effective in relieving procedural distress for a significant number of children. Pharmacological therapies were found to be relatively safe and effective when carefully administered and monitored by medical personnel. Data from combined cognitive therapies and pharmacological interventions, particularly those more recent pharmacological interventions, reveal generally mixed results, with both types of interventions yielding distinct benefits and disadvantages. Recommendations are made for future studies that match interventions to specific characteristics of the children for whom they are intended, as well as additional studies that combine pharmacological approaches together with cognitive techniques.

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