Acute Pain and Posttraumatic Stress after Pediatric Injury

Aimee K. Hildenbrand, Meghan L. Marsac, Brian P. Daly, Douglas Chute, Nancy Kassam-Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective Using a prospective, longitudinal design, we examined the relationship between acute pain and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in youth following injury. Methods Children aged 8-17 years who sustained an injury (N = 243) and their parents participated in baseline interviews to assess children's worst pain since injury. 6 months later, participants completed follow-up interviews to assess child PTSS. Results Pain as assessed by the Color Analogue Pain Scale (CAS) predicted PTSS 6 months after injury, even when controlling for demographic and empirically based risk factors. On the other hand, pain as assessed by the Faces Pain Rating Scale was not a significant independent predictor of PTSS. Conclusions The CAS may be a useful addition to existing screening tools for PTSS among children. Additional research is warranted to understand underlying mechanisms linking acute pain and PTSS to improve assessment, prevention, and treatment approaches and promote optimal recovery after pediatric injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Author.


  • PTSD
  • injury
  • pain
  • posttraumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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