Pain management for special populations - Pediatric, geriatric, and intensive care unit patients

Peter S. Staats, Karen S. Galloway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The treatment of pain in children, the elderly, and intensive care unit patients presents some unique problems. Here a unifying theme is emphasized: the difficulty in adequately assessing pain in patients who are often unable to communicate. Also addressed are the differences in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics from neonates to the elderly. Finally, common pain syndromes in each group, the associated treatments, and recent controversies are discussed. Because of changing demographics, pain treatment for these groups will become increasingly important. Only in the past 10 years has pediatric pain been treated with the same energy as adult pain; application of the newest techniques still lags far behind these patients' adult counterparts. Pain treatment in the elderly will inevitably become a larger problem as our population ages. Finally, recent advances in technology enable us to sustain patients with increasingly severe illnesses. Thus, pain management in these special populations will take on progressively greater importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Pain, geriatric
  • Pain, intensive care unit
  • Pain, pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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