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2020 Jun 19

Can J Pain



Mapping the evidence and gaps of interventions for pediatric chronic pain to inform policy, research, and practice: A systematic review and quality assessment of systematic reviews.


: Reviews in pediatric chronic pain often focus on only one intervention or population, making it difficult for policymakers and decision makers to quickly synthesize knowledge to inform larger-scale policy and funding priorities. : The aims of this study were to (1) create an evidence and gap map of interventions for pediatric chronic pain and (2) identify gaps between existing evidence and recently identified patient-oriented research priorities. : We performed a systematic review of English-language peer-reviewed systematic reviews or clinical practice guidelines of pediatric chronic pain intervention published in the past 20 years. Database searches of Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Science, CINAHL, and SCOPUS were conducted inclusive to June 3, 2019. Review quality was assessed using the AMSTAR-2. : Of 4168 unique abstracts, 50 systematic reviews (including 2 clinical practice guidelines) crossing diverse pediatric chronic pain populations and intervention settings were included. One third were rated high quality, with half rated low to critically low quality. The largest proportion of reviews addressed psychological and pharmacological interventions, followed by interdisciplinary, other (e.g., dietary), and physical interventions. Most common outcomes included pain, physical, emotional, and role functioning and quality of life. Treatment satisfaction and adverse events were less common, with minimal report of sleep or economic factors. Most patient-oriented research priorities had not been investigated. : Sufficient quality evidence is available to guide evidence-informed policies in pediatric chronic pain, most notably regarding psychological and pharmacological interventions. Numerous evidence gaps in patient-oriented research priorities and treatment outcomes should guide prioritization of research funds, as well as study aims and design.