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Pain evaluation in the preterm

Collection

  • Paediatrics

Document Type

Published Date

  • 2014-10

Abstract

  • Assessment of pain is a challenge in neonatal setting. Visual, behavioural and physiological pain scales are not always reliable in premature infants. Few studies with limited sample size have been published on the reliability and efficacy of Skin Conductance Algesimeter (SCA) in monitoring pain in infants and children. Aim To identify the clinical usefulness of SCA as a reliable and valid measure of pain intensity and stress response in preterm infants. Methods Parents of all preterm infants admitted to the neonatal unit were invited to participate in the study. The usefulness of SCA was compared with simultaneous measurement of 'Premature Infant Pain Profile' (PIPP) and 'Face, Legs, Activity, Cry and Consolability (FLACC) scores during invasive and/or painful procedures. Results 85 measurements were recorded. PIPP and FLACC scores started low, increased during the procedure and decreased afterwards. For all SCA measurements, there was an increase in score pre-pro and a decrease in score pro-post. However, the standard deviation for variations was wider for some measurements than for others. Paired t-test comparing Delta pre-pro with Delta pro-post for all measurements {PIPP, FLACC, Area (small) and Peaks/sec} individually showed statistically significant differences (p < 0.05). For Area (small), there was no significant correlation between SCA data and PIPP/FLACC scores. Conclusions SCA, PIPP and FLACC scores increased during the painful procedures. Although the SCA, PIPP and FLACC data is mathematically correlated, at a clinical level, the correlation is too imprecise to use the SCA to predict or measure behavioural responses to noxious stimuli in neonates.
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