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J Pediatr Psychol. 1996 Oct;21(5):683-98.

Prediction of children's postoperative pain: the role of presurgical expectations and anticipatory emotions.

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Case Western Reserve University, Department of Psychology, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7123, USA.


Examined predictors of children's ratings of postoperative pain intensity based on a model of children's expectations for surgery developed from the Children's Health Belief Model (Bush & Iannotti, 1990) and McGrath's (1990) model of children's pain experiences. Prior to their inpatient surgeries, 28 children (ages 7-17 years) and their parents completed ratings of children's expected surgery pain, anticipatory anxiety, and expected helpfulness of pain medicine. Following surgery, children completed ratings of their postoperative pain intensity. Age, total analgesics administered, and anticipatory anxiety emerged as significant predictors of children's postoperative pain ratings. Methodological issues concerning the measurement of children's expectations for surgery are discussed.

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