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Recurrent abdominal pain in children: a review of psychological factors and treatment



Recurrent abdominal pain in children: a review of psychological factors and treatment



Clinical Psychology Review 17(2): 145-166



This paper reviews current knowledge regarding recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) and the physiological, dietary, and psychological variables that may have some influence in pain episodes. Emphasis is placed on psychological factors and studies that have investigated psychological treatment modalities. There is some limited evidence of physiological dysfunction in RAP patients, and while some researchers have asserted that RAP may be a dietary disorder, results of several studies do not support this assertion. Studies examining psychological variables in RAP patients show elevated anxiety levels; however, elevated anxiety is also associated with organic abdominal pain. Psychological treatments focusing on cognitive-behavioral methods have demonstrated success in treating RAP. Follow-up studies are needed to determine the long-term success of these treatments, and continued research examining which children benefit from treatment would also be beneficial.

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Accession: 033119174

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9140713

DOI: 10.1016/s0272-7358(96)00001-3



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