Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Skye Peltier


Pain is a common experience in childhood. One in 4 children experiences chronic pain. Nonspecific abdominal pain occurs in 10 – 15% of children, of whom only 5 – 10% are found to have a specific organic cause. Seventy-eight percent of children receiving treatment in the emergency department report having pain, and the assessment and treatment of this pain is often inconsistent and not well controlled. A 2017 survey done at Minnesota Children’s Hospital found that pain from needles was the least well-controlled. The use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques can be a powerful adjunct to treatment of pain in children. By decreasing anxiety and increasing coping skills, these techniques help children to feel less discomfort from illness, injury, or procedures. Studies in pediatric populations have shown promising results without the dangers of adverse effects. Further study, utilizing larger samples and rigorous reporting, can strengthen the evidence for this as an adjunctive treatment of pain. Meta-analysis and systematic reviews can be used to increase the power of studies into the use of CBT in smaller treatment settings.