“Pain is not over when the needle ends”: A review and preliminary model of acute pain memory development in childhood
Noel, Melanie Elizabeth
Klein, Raymond M.
Stewart, Sherry H.
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Over the past several decades, the field of pediatric pain has made impressive advances in our understanding of the pain experience of the developing child, as well as the devastating impact of inadequately managed pain early in life. It is now well recognized that, from infancy, children are capable of developing implicit memories of pain that can influence their subsequent reactions to pain. The present review provides a synthesis of selected studies that made a significant impact on this field of inquiry, with particular emphasis on recent clinical and laboratory-based experimental research examining children’s explicit autobiographical memories for acute pain. Research has begun to move toward improving the precision with which children at risk for developing negatively estimated pain memories can be identified, given the adverse influence these memories can have on subsequent pain experience. As such, several fear- and anxiety-related child and parent variables implicated in this process are discussed and avenues for future research and clinical intervention are identified throughout. Finally, a preliminary empirically-and theoretically-derived model of acute pain memory development in childhood is presented to parsimoniously summarize the evidence accumulated to date and guide future investigation in this area.
Noel, M., Chambers, C.T., Petter, M., McGrath, P.J., Klein, R.M., & Stewart, S.H. (2012). Pain is not over when the needle ends: A review and preliminary model of acute pain memory development in childhood. Pain Management, 2, 487-497. doi: 10.2217/pmt.12.41. PMID: 24645865.