Systematic Review of Self-Report Measures of Pain Intensity in 3- and 4-Year-Old Children: Bridging a Period of Rapid Cognitive Development
- von Baeyer, C. L., Jaaniste, T., Vo, H. L. T., Brunsdon, G., Lao, H. C., and Champion, G. D.
- Claims are made for the validity of some self-report pain scales for 3- and 4-year-old children, but little is known about their ability to use such tools. This systematic review identified self-report pain intensity measures used with 3- and/or 4- year-old participants (3-4yo) and considered their reliability and validity within this age span. The search protocol identified research articles that included 3-4yo, reported use of any pain scale, and included self-reported pain intensity ratings. A total of 1,590 articles were screened and 617 articles met inclusion criteria. Of the included studies, 98% aggregated self-report data for 3-4yo with data for older children, leading to overestimates of the reliability and validity of self-report in the younger age group. In the 14 studies that provided nonaggregated data for 3-4yo, there was no evidence for 3-year-old and weak evidence for 4-year-old children being able to use published self-report pain intensity tools in a valid or reliable way. Preschool-age children have been reported to do better with fewer than the 6 response options offered on published faces scales. Simplified tools are being developed for young children; however, more research is needed before these are adopted.
PERSPECTIVE: Some self-report pain scales have been promoted for use with 3- and 4-year-old children, but this is on the basis of studies that aggregated data for younger and older children, resulting in overestimates of reliability and validity for the preschool-age children. Scales with fewer response options show promise, at least for 4-year-old children.
- J Pain
- Publication year:
- Symptom status:
- Physical state
- Children (0-18)
- Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified
- PRO / non-PRO:
- Patient Reported Outcome
- Type of measurement instrument:
- 1 - Questionnaires