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Semin Perinatol. 2007 Oct;31(5):283-8.

Current controversies regarding pain assessment in neonates.

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McGill University, School of Nursing, Montreal, Canada.


Although over 40 methods of pain assessment in infants are available for use in clinical practice, unrecognized and under-treated pain remains one of the most commonly reported problems within the Neonatal Intensive Care Units. A number of factors have been found to account for differences in the robustness of the pain response in neonates of varying gestational ages. Discrepancies between behavioral and physiological pain indicators have also been reported. With newer technologies, there is an opportunity not only to verify infant pain perception, but these tools may allow an identification of which of the observed indicators are most sensitive in particular clinical situations. The current controversies regarding pain assessment in preterm and term infants are reviewed to define the most important issues and to develop a dialogue for future directions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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