Pediatric psychology in primary health care: Brief targeted therapy for recurrent abdominal pain

Jack W. Finney, Kathleen L. Lemanek, Michael F. Cataldo, Harvey P. Katz, R. Wayne Fuqua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Children with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) are frequent users of medical care services, often seeking care for a variety of illnesses and symptoms. In a clinical replication series, we treated 16 children with RAP who were referred to a primary care-based pediatric psychology service. They received a multi-component targeted therapy, which included self-monitoring, limited parent attention, relaxation training, increased dietary fiber, and required school attendance. After treatment, improvement or resolution of pain symptoms was reported for 13 (81%) children, and school absences were significantly decreased. Medical care utilization significantly decreased after treatment, whereas a comparison group of untreated children with RAP showed no change in medical care visits over time. Brief targeted therapy delivered in a primary health care setting appeared to be effective in reducing a range of problems associated with RAP. A primary care service is an ideal setting for integrating behavioral medicine services into the health care system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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