Caregiver accuracy in detecting deception in facial expressions of pain in children
Pillai Riddell, Rebecca
MetadataShow full item record
Facial expressions provide a primary source of inference about a child’s pain. Although facial expressions typically appear spontaneous, children have some capacity to fake or suppress displays of pain, thereby potentially misleading caregiver judgments. The present study was designed to compare accuracy of different groups of caregivers in detecting deception in children’s facial expressions of pain when voluntarily controlled. Caregivers (15 pediatricians, 15 pediatric nurses, and 15 parents) viewed 48 video clips of children, 12 in each of 4 conditions (genuine pain, faked pain, suppressed pain, neutral baseline), and judged which condition was apparent to them. A 3 (group: pediatrician vs pediatric nurse vs parent) × 4 (condition: genuine vs faked vs suppressed vs neutral) mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) of judgment accuracies revealed a significant main effect of group, with nurses demonstrating higher overall accuracy scores than parents, and pediatricians not differing from either group. As well, all caregivers, regardless of group, demonstrated the lowest accuracy when viewing the genuine condition, relative to the faked and suppressed conditions, with accuracy for the neutral condition not differing significantly from the other conditions. Overall, caregivers were more successful at identifying faked and suppressed than genuine expressions of pain in children, and pediatric nurses fared better overall in judgment accuracy than parents.
Boerner, K.E., Chambers, C.T., Craig, K.D., Pillai Riddell, R.R., & Parker, J.A. (2013). Caregiver accuracy in detecting deception in facial expressions of pain in children. Pain, 154(4), 525-533.