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Cold Pressor Pain Response in Children With Cancer.


OBJECTIVE:The goal of this study was to examine pain responses in pediatric patients with cancer. METHOD:Children (ages 6 to 18) undergoing treatment for cancer (N=68) completed the cold pressor task. RESULTS:Average pain tolerance was 118.22 seconds (SD=101.18) and 40% of the children kept their hand in the water the entire 4-minute ceiling. On a 0 to 10 numeric rating scale, children reported a pain severity of 5.07 (SD=3.47) at their first report of pain, a pain severity of 5.94 (SD=3.54) at their maximum report of pain, and a pain severity of 5.33 (SD=3.72) at the time they reached pain tolerance. Children receiving chemotherapy agents (N=56) with possible neuropathic effects exhibited higher pain tolerance compared with children not receiving such treatments (N=10), β=0.84, SE=0.38, Wald χ1=4.88, P=0.027, hazard ratio=2.33, 95% confidence interval (1.10-4.92). CONCLUSIONS:This study provides data on experimental pain responses in a sample of children undergoing cancer treatment and suggests that pain experience may be moderated by cancer treatment type.

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