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Volume 1 Supplement 1

Safety in Health

Cause of maximum pain in hospitalized children and adolescents - A pilot project


In recent years, much has been achieved in interdisciplinary cooperation concerning pain management and pain therapy with children and adolescents [1]. Key points were the age-appropriate assessment of pain at rest, on movement and maximum pain and their adequate treatment [2]. But there exist only few data concerning the reasons for maximum pain in children and adolescents [3, 4]. This pilot study investigates this issue in children and adolescents from admission to discharge.

Material and methods

For this exploratory pilot study, children and adolescents aged 11-18 years, which had a surgical intervention at the Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Surgery of the University of Graz, were interviewed by using a semi-structured interview guide. A descriptive analysis of the frequency of reported causes for the maximum pain and an examination of the relationships between the different types of surgery and the maximum pain followed.


A total of 41 patients were included in this study. The most common reasons of maximum pain was the preoperative period (n = 8), followed by preoperative manual examinations (n = 4) and the first mobilization attempts postoperatively (n = 4). The most frequent and painful surgery were appendectomy (n = 9), followed by knee arthroscopy and surgeries (n = 6). Osteosyntheses of upper limb fractures were less painful.


The reasons for maximum pain regarding different types of surgery found in adults and children/adolescents, could be also confirmed in children and young people aged 11-18 years. The preoperative period as well as the preoperative manual examinations and the first mobilization attempts postoperatively represent new approaches for a future closer research.


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Correspondence to Teresa Heitzeneder.

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There is no conflict of interest.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Heitzeneder, T., Sandner-Kiesling, A., Avian, A. et al. Cause of maximum pain in hospitalized children and adolescents - A pilot project. Saf Health 1 (Suppl 1), A3 (2015).

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