Pain assessment

Anne Hunt

in Oxford Textbook of Palliative Care for Children

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199595105
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665020 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks In Palliative Medicine

Pain assessment

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  • Paediatrics
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Pain Medicine


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This chapter examines pain assessment within a philosophical and social context. Models of pain are introduced that have an impact on our understanding of pain as perceived by both the pain sufferer and the observer of the other’s pain. A social model of pain is identified whereby pain is not viewed as purely subjective, but as an experience that has subjective, objective, and intersubjective criteria. Viewed from an intersubjective or social perspective, observers can come to know another’s pain. This intersubjective perspective is in turn supported by the idea of ‘pain assessment.’ Although communication of pain from one individual to another is not necessarily straightforward, it can be assisted by the use of pain assessment tools. Several such tools are introduced that may assist in the assessment of pain in children with life-limiting conditions. The use of these tools is discussed in relation to the developmental and disease status of children with potentially life-limiting conditions.

Chapter.  12757 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Paediatrics ; Palliative Medicine ; Pain Medicine

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