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J Pediatr Psychol. 2005 Jul-Aug;30(5):397-408. Epub 2005 Feb 23.

A randomized controlled trial of a cognitive-behavioral family intervention for pediatric recurrent abdominal pain.

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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Department of Psychology, 3405 Civic Center Blvd., CSH 15, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



To investigate whether the combination of standard medical care (SMC) and short-term cognitive-behavioral family treatment (CBT) in the treatment of recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) was more effective than SMC alone.


Children recently diagnosed with RAP via physician examination were randomized into SMC (n = 29) and SMC plus CBT (n = 40) groups. Outcome measures included multiple dimensions of child and parent reported child pain, somatization, and functional disability, and school absences and physician contacts.


Children and parents participating in the combined SMC + CBT intervention reported significantly less child and parent reported child abdominal pain than children in the SMC intervention immediately following the intervention and up to 1 year following study entry, as well as significantly fewer school absences. Significant differences in functional disability and somatization were not revealed.


These results, in combination with previous studies, add support to the effectiveness of CBT intervention in reducing the sensory aspects of RAP. Results are discussed with respect to the cost-benefit of integrated medical and short-term psychological services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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