Collaboration with Bangor University, Cardiff University and University of Bath.
Chronic pain (CP) in childhood is widespread affecting at least an estimated 4% to 14% of children and adolescents and has considerable negative impacts on children’s social and family relationships, school attendance, social and sports activities and increased use of healthcare services and medication. In the UK services for children rely largely on primary care services with limited provision of and access to specialist chronic pain services and multidisciplinary pain management. To successfully develop, design and deliver appropriate services and interventions which meet the needs of patients and their families, it is vital that we understand how children with CP and their families experience chronic pain and health and social care services.
Our aim is to synthesise published qualitative studies on the experiences of children with chronic pain and their families in order to increase our current understanding of paediatric pain to inform the health and social care services’ response to and management of paediatric chronic pain. The review questions are: how do children with CP conceptualise CP. How do they live with CP? What do children and parents conceptualise as ‘good’ pain management and what do they want to achieve from pain management interventions? From the perspective of children and their parents, how do health and social care services respond to and manage children’s CP?
Design: we will conduct a qualitative evidence synthesis of the experience of children and young people up to age 18 with chronic pain and their families using the systematic, interpretive methodology of meta-ethnography. Meta-ethnography is ideally suited to illuminating complex healthcare issues by developing theory about how a health and social care service, intervention, policy, or strategy works and how patients experience it.
The findings will contribute to clinical guidelines on CP in children; contribute to training of health and social care professionals regarding paediatric chronic pain management; and inform service, treatment and intervention design and delivery. This could improve the quality of life of children with CP and their families and ultimately, could reduce burden on NHS.