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Jornal de Pediatria

On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


CORREIA, Luciana Leonetti  and  LINHARES, Maria Beatriz Martins. Assessment of the behavior of children in painful situations: literature review. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2008, vol.84, n.6, pp. 477-486. ISSN 1678-4782.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the scientific production published between 2001 and 2006 describing studies assessing children in painful situations, with a focus on preschool children. SOURCES: Searches were run for empirical articles indexed in electronic databases using the keywords pain assessment and behavior and their equivalents in Portuguese. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: A total of 33 articles were identified, 18 of which were studies of the psychometric properties of instruments for the measurement of pain, while 11 dealt with the application of such instruments and four were studies of intervention procedures for the relief of pain. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that more recent literature on the assessment of preschool children's behavior in painful situations is focused on testing the psychometric properties of measurement instruments. Acute pain, especially during surgical procedures, was most often assessed using one-dimensional instruments. Pain in children was most often assessed using facial activity as indicator and intensity as dimension. With relation to assessment of pain in special populations, advances were observed related to assessment of pain in preverbal children or preschool children with special needs.

Keywords : Pain measurement; behavior; preschool.

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