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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Soumitri Sil, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School ofMedicine, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, 2015 Uppergate Drive, Room 426H, Atlanta, GA 30322. Email: Soumitri.Sil@emory.edu

The authors thank the children and families for their time and participation in this research.

Special thanks are also extended to the clinical research coordinators for their time and effort in supporting the study: Farida Abudulai, Morgan Barnett, Shelley Mays, Natasha Morris, Bailey Sturdivant, and Amanda Watt.

Aspects of this work were presented previously at American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, December 2017 and Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, April 2018.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.


Research Funding:

Funding for this study was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the NIH under Award UL1TR000454.

Preparation of this paper was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Award 1K23Hl133457–01A1 to Soumitri Sil, Ph.D.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Pediatrics
  • Biopsychosocial
  • Chronic pain
  • Pediatric
  • Risk factors
  • Screening
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Functional disability
  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Predictors
  • Depression
  • Inventory
  • Patterns
  • Outcomes
  • Parents
  • Version

Pediatric pain screening identifies youth at risk of chronic pain in sickle cell disease


Journal Title:

Pediatric Blood & Cancer


Volume 66, Number 3


, Pages e27538-e27538

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background: This study aimed to evaluate the preliminary validation and application of a pain screening tool to identify biopsychosocial risk factors for chronic pain in pediatric sickle cell disease (SCD) and classify youth with SCD into prognostic risk groups. Method: Youth presenting to a pediatric SCD clinic completed the Pediatric Pain Screening Tool (PPST), a brief 9-item self-report questionnaire developed for rapid identification of risk in youth with pain complaints. Youth also completed a battery of standardized patient-reported outcomes, including pain characteristics, pain burden, functional disability, pain interference, depressive symptoms, pain catastrophizing, and fear of pain. Healthcare utilization was extracted from medical chart review. Results: Seventy-three 8- to 18-year-olds (94% Black, 57% female) with SCD participated. The PPST demonstrated discriminant validity that ranged from fair to excellent (area under the curves (AUC) = 0.74–0.93, P values < 0.001) for identifying significant pain frequency, disability, pain interference, and psychosocial distress. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses indicated that previously established cutoff scores were appropriate for the SCD sample. Participants were classified into low-risk (28.8%), medium-risk (38.4%), and high-risk (32.9%) groups, with significant group differences across measures, F(18, 116) = 6.67, P < 0.001. The high-risk group reported significantly higher pain intensity, pain frequency, pain burden, functional disability, pain interference, and depressive symptoms relative to both low-risk and medium-risk groups (P values < 0.005). Conclusions: The high-risk group demonstrated a pain and psychosocial profile consistent with chronic SCD pain. The PPST may be useful for efficiently identifying youth with chronic SCD pain or those at risk of poor outcomes.

Copyright information:

© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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