Children with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) are frequent users of medical care services, often seeking care for a variety of illnesses and symptoms. In a clinical replication series, we treated 16 children with RAP who were referred to a primary care-based pediatric psychology service. They received a multi-component targeted therapy, which included self-monitoring, limited parent attention, relaxation training, increased dietary fiber, and required school attendance. After treatment, improvement or resolution of pain symptoms was reported for 13 (81%) children, and school absences were significantly decreased. Medical care utilization significantly decreased after treatment, whereas a comparison group of untreated children with RAP showed no change in medical care visits over time. Brief targeted therapy delivered in a primary health care setting appeared to be effective in reducing a range of problems associated with RAP. A primary care service is an ideal setting for integrating behavioral medicine services into the health care system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology