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ERIC Number: EJ868099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0164-775X
Chronic Pain: The Impact on Academic, Social, and Emotional Functioning
Parkins, Jason M.; Gfroerer, Susan D.
Communique, v38 n1 p24-25 Sep 2009
Chronic pain is persistent and recurrent pain that tends to fluctuate in severity, quality, regularity, and predictability. It can occur in a single or multiple body regions or organ systems. Some of the most frequently reported types of chronic pain include headaches, recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), and musculoskeletal pain. In contrast to acute pain, in which the sympathetic nervous system is aroused and the bodily injury eventually heals, chronic pain is rarely accompanied by sympathetic nervous system arousal; thus, the individual may not look like he or she is in pain. Chronic pain can have a significant effect on individuals and their families. Chronic pain sufferers often experience decreased quality of life in many areas, including participation in physical activities, emotional well-being, and school or work functioning. Chronic pain in adults has been well-documented as a costly and disabling healthcare problem, yet a lack of substantive attention has been placed on pediatric chronic pain. Children and adolescents with chronic pain experience problems at school. Among the problems are frequent absences, decreased academic performance, and impaired ability to cope with the demands of the classroom setting. The multiple effects of chronic pain, difficulties in assessment of pain, and complexity of providing interventions assure that these conditions will present challenges to school systems. Thus, school psychologists should support students with chronic pain so that they can overcome barriers prohibiting them from achieving academic and social success in school. To understand the multiple dimensions of chronic pain in the diagnostic, research, and treatment realms, this article focuses on the complex condition of RAP. This pain occurs in the abdominal area and is often accompanied by other physical complaints, such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and other nonspecific somatic symptoms.
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A