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A comprehensive categorical and bibliometric analysis of published research articles on pediatric pain from 1975 to 2010

Caes, Line; Boerner, Katelynn E.; Chambers, Christine T.; Campbell-Yeo, Marsha; Stinson, Jennifer; Birnie, Kathryn A.; Parker, Jennifer A.; Huguet, Anna; Jordan, Abbie; MacLaren Chorney, Jill; Schinkel, Meghan; Dol, Justine

doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000403
Comprehensive Review

The field of pediatric pain research began in the mid-1970s and has undergone significant growth and development in recent years as evidenced by the variety of books, conferences, and journals on the topic and also the number of disciplines engaged in work in this area. Using categorical and bibliometric meta-trend analysis, this study offers a synthesis of research on pediatric pain published between 1975 and 2010 in peer-reviewed journals. Abstracts from 4256 articles, retrieved from Web of Science, were coded across 4 categories: article type, article topic, type and age of participants, and pain stimulus. The affiliation of the first author and number of citations were also gathered. The results suggest a significant increase in the number of publications over the time period investigated, with 96% of the included articles published since 1990 and most research being multiauthored publications in pain-focused journals. First authors were most often from the United States and affiliated with a medical department. Most studies were original research articles; the most frequent topics were pain characterization (39.86%), pain intervention (37.49%), and pain assessment (25.00%). Clinical samples were most frequent, with participants most often characterized as children (6-12 years) or adolescents (13-18 years) experiencing chronic or acute pain. The findings provide a comprehensive overview of contributions in the field of pediatric pain research over 35 years and offers recommendations for future research in the area.

aCentre for Pediatric Pain Research, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS, Canada

Departments of bPsychology and Neuroscience

cPediatrics and

dDalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

eSchool of Nursing, Faculty of Health Professions, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

fChild Health Evaluative Sciences, Hospital for Sick Children, and Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

gDepartment of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

hDepartment of Psychology and Centre for Pain Research, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom

iDepartment of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. L. Caes is now with School of Psychology, Arts Millennium Building Extension (AMBE) National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Corresponding author. Address: School of Psychology, NUI Galway, University Rd, Galway, Ireland. Tel.: +35391493457. E-mail address: (L. Caes).

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Received July 17, 2015

Received in revised form October 07, 2015

Accepted October 23, 2015

© 2016 International Association for the Study of Pain
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