Brief report: Behavioral correlates of postoperative pain in toddlers and preschoolers

Beth Christiano*, Sally E. Tarbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the association between preoperative parent and child behaviors and postoperative pain in toddlers and preschoolers. Method: Participants were 74 pediatric patients (59 boys, 15 girls), scheduled for inguinal hernia or hydrocele repair, and their parents. Children ranged in age from 12 to 64 months (M = 33.7 months, SD = 14.7 months). Child and parent behaviors were assessed 30 minutes prior to surgery using the Behavioral Observation Scale (BOS), a modified version of the Dyadic Prestressor Interaction Scale (Melamed and Bush, 1985). Postoperative pain was assessed using an observational measure, the Toddler-Preschooler Postoperative Pain Scale (TPPPS) (Tarbell Cohen, and Marsh, 1992). Results: Postoperative pain was negatively related to parents' provision of surgery- relevant information during the preoperative observation period. Conclusion: Preoperative interventions for young children should include information about the surgery experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998


  • Postoperative pain
  • Preschoolers
  • Presurgical preparation
  • Toddlers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Brief report: Behavioral correlates of postoperative pain in toddlers and preschoolers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this