The treatment of children and adolescents with pain has improved considerably in the last 30 years. In Spain, progress is also evident, and specialized units or programs have emerged as part of the care provided for this population. However, there are no studies on the characteristics or activities of these specialized units or programs. This lack of information prevents an adequate evaluation of the current procedures, and hinders an adequate administration and management of these resources. The objective of this work was to study the characteristics of these units and programs for the treatment of children and adolescents with pain in Spain.
A total of 10 specialized units or specific treatment programs for pediatric pain in Spain were identified, and the person responsible was contacted. Through a self-administered online survey, information was collected on the organization of the program, the involvement in relevant fields such as research, training of professionals and the raising of awareness and visibility of the problem, the specialties involved, the type of treatments offered, the evaluation of results and the services provided.
Of the ten units or programs contacted, eight answered the survey (80%). Pain programs for children and adolescents proved to be primarily pharmacological, also for chronic pain. They reported to promote awareness about the problem (88%), to contribute to the training of specialists (88%) and to a lesser extent to research and knowledge generation (75%).
This survey provides valuable information on the current characteristics of specialized programs and units for the treatment of children and adolescents with pain in Spain, and can be used to propose actions that improve its current management and administration.