The role of psychosocial factors in pain severity and somatic functioning among children with recurrent chest pain
Gilleland, Jordan Leigh
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Objective: To explore more comprehensive models of psychosocial factors influencing pain and somatic functioning in children with non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP). Methods: During evaluations at cardiology clinics, psychosocial and physical functioning measures were collected from 35 participants with NCCP and their parents. Results: Children’s somatic functioning and fear of physical arousal predicted significant variance in children’s chest pain severity ratings. Additionally, children’s depressive symptoms, fear of physiological arousal, and maternal levels somatization were each significant predictors of children’s somatic functioning. Functional disability was more closely associated with children’s somatic symptoms than children’s chest pain severity. Conclusions: These results suggest key psychological and familial factors to address in therapeutic programs designed to decrease NCCP, reduce general somatic complaints, improve families’ psychosocial functioning, and decrease economic and resource burdens on health care systems.