Pain Assessment and Spectral Analysis of Neonatal Crying

  • C. V. Bellieni
  • G. Buonocore


Pain assessment in newborns is a widely debated topic. There are currently various methods of evaluating pain intensity in subjects who cannot express themselves in words, since pain can be assessed indirectly through the increase in plasma β-endorphin and catecholamines before and after pain, and through analysis of facial expression and complex movements of the extremities and of the changes in parameters such as oxygen saturation of the blood, heart rate and sweating of the palms. More than 30 neonatal pain scales exist, but almost none is actually used in clinical settings. Many of them are multifactorial, i.e. they simultaneously take account of fluctuations in oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and facial expression, but also score gestational age, behaviour and so on [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. The more complex scales are good for research purposes, but only if we record the procedure in order to give the scorers the opportunity to assess the requested items in a later session. The most widely used are the PIPP (Premature Infant Pain Profile), NIPS (Neonatal Infant Pain Scale) and DAN (Douleur Aiguë du Nouveau-né) (see Chap. 9).


Pain Scale Pain Assessment Central Pattern Generator Heel Prick Premature Infant Pain Profile 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. V. Bellieni
    • 1
  • G. Buonocore
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproduction MedicineUniversity of SienaSienaItaly

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