Psychological Predictors of Pain in Children and Adolescents With Sickle Cell Disease: A Scoping Review.

Research paper by Clare C Donohoe, Ellen Lavoie EL Smith

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Journal of pediatric oncology nursing : official journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a common red blood cell disorder that disrupts the lives of many African Americans and those of Middle Eastern heritage within the United States due to frequent pain. There is limited research quantifying biopsychosocial factors, specifically psychological characteristics, that influence pain in children and adolescents with SCD. The aim of this literature review was to identify psychological characteristics that are predictive or associated with pain in children and adolescents with SCD. This review was conducted using PRISMA guidelines. Four databases, PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Scopus, were searched using specific terms to address the aim of the review (SCD, pain, pediatrics and adolescents, and psychological characteristics). The review identified a lack of consensus regarding the definitions and measurement of pain frequency and intensity. A variety of psychological characteristics were associated with pain including coping strategies, anxiety, depressive symptoms, catastrophizing, and stress. Overall, the study designs restricted the ability to fully identify psychological characteristics that predict pain. Health science researchers must strive for a deeper understanding about the presentation of SCD pain and psychological risk factors associated with increased pain to provide targeted screening and treatment.