Pain is the most common reason for seeking healthcare. Under-treated pain is associated with detrimental effects. For children, injury is the most common cause of pain. Over 90% of children evaluated for injury induced pain are discharged home. There is growing evidence that out-patient pain treatment by parents, is inadequate.
Given the complexity of the pain experience, there are a number of factors that likely account for inadequate pain treatment for children. Pain assessment is a particularly difficult aspect of treatment for parents. Published literature shows that parents don’t use assessment tools. However, experiences with healthcare providers suggest that a pain assessment tool increases awareness for the pain experience. We sought to develop an assessment tool that alerts parents to the child’s pain experience and aids decision-making.