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Pain. 1992 Jan;48(1):45-52.

Assessment of acute pediatric pain: do child self-report, parent ratings, and nurse ratings measure the same phenomenon?

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  • 1Psychiatry Service and Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021.


The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that are associated with child, parent, and nurse ratings of acute pediatric pain and distress during venipuncture. The behavior of eighty-five pediatric cancer patients during venipuncture was recorded by trained raters, and their observations were compared with ratings of pain and distress obtained from parents, pediatric patients, and pediatric nurses. Regression analyses indicated that ratings made by the child, parent, and nurse reflect different perspectives. Nurses' ratings were based upon overt distress, parents' ratings reflected their subjective perception of the child's pain, and the child's self-report was associated with the child's chronologic age.

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