Biopsychosocial Approaches to Pediatric Chronic Pain Management

  • Bonnie S. EssnerEmail author
  • Susan T. Tran
  • Marissa L. Koven


Pediatric chronic pain is prevalent among children and adolescents and the incidence is rising, resulting in considerable patient and family distress and impairment, as well as significant financial burden to health-care systems. The biopsychosocial framework has emerged as the predominant conceptualization of pediatric chronic pain. This framework highlights the complex relations among biological, psychological, sociocultural, and health behavior factors that contribute to interpersonal variability in the course and severity of chronic pain. It also guides treatment: the interdisciplinary pediatric chronic pain assessment and treatment model is structured to include clinicians of varying expertise who may together comprehensively address the biopsychosocial contributors to a given patient’s and family’s pain experience. This chapter provides an overview of the biopsychosocial framework, the interdisciplinary pediatric chronic pain treatment model, and examples of specific, evidence-based interventions including pharmacological, exercise-, and sensory discrimination-based, biobehavioral, and psychological treatments.


Pediatric chronic pain Interdisciplinary pain treatment Biopsychosocial model Cognitive-behavioral therapy Biobehavioral treatments Physical therapy Medication and interventional procedures 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonnie S. Essner
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Susan T. Tran
    • 3
  • Marissa L. Koven
    • 3
  1. 1.Pritzker Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral HealthAnn & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric AnesthesiologyAnn & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA

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