Chronic pain in adolescents can be highly impairing. Parental reactions to their child’s pain are important factors influencing pain perception and pain-related impairment in children and adolescents. The present study aimed to examine parental accommodation of pain symptoms using the Inventory of Parent Accommodations of Children’s Symptoms (IPACS) to provide empirical support for the utility of this measure in parents of adolescents with chronic pain. We examined the prevalence, nature, and correlates of accommodation behaviors in 66 adolescents with chronic pain and their parents using the IPACS. All parents reported some level of accommodation of their child’s pain symptoms. After controlling for pain severity, parental accommodation was associated with functional impairment. In addition, parental accommodation mediated the link between parental catastrophizing reactions to pain and child impairment and between child anxiety and depressive symptoms and child impairment. The IPACS appears to be a useful measure of parental accommodation of pain. Parental accommodation should be included as an intervention target when necessary. It is important to educate families about the negative consequences that can be related to excessive accommodation of pain symptoms and to provide effective resources to manage the impact of chronic pain and replace accommodation with more adaptive pain coping strategies.
- chronic pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health