Adolescent pediatric pain tool for multidimensional measurement of pain in children and adolescents

Eufemia Jacob*, A. Kyle Mack, Marilyn Savedra, Lois Van Cleve, Diana J. Wilkie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Very few multidimensional tools are available for measurement of pain in children and adolescents. We critically reviewed the scientific literature to examine the psychometrics and utility of the Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool (APPT), a multidimensional self-report tool that evaluates the intensity, location, and quality (including affective, evaluative, sensory, and temporal) dimensions of pain. The APPT is available in English and Spanish for children and adolescents, and was modeled after the McGill Pain Questionnaire in adults. We found good evidence for construct validity, reliability, and sensitivity of the APPT for the measurement of pediatric pain. The APPT was used to measure pain in children with different conditions, such as cancer, sickle cell disease, orthopedic, traumatic injuries, and allergy testing. Although the APPT was designed to assess the multiple dimensions of pain, the majority of the reports included results only for the intensity ratings. Unlike the numerical and pediatric faces rating scales, which are widely used in clinical practice and research, the APPT is not limited to the single dimension of pain intensity. It measures multiple dimensions, and may be able to discriminate between nociceptive and neuropathic pain. The APPT is one of a few multidimensional pain measures that can help to advance the science of pediatric pain and its management. When the APPT is used in practice or research, the multiple dimensions of pain may be characterized and compared in different painful conditions. It may guide the use of multimodal interventions in children and adolescents with a variety of pain conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-706
Number of pages13
JournalPain Management Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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