Talking to teens about pain: a modified Delphi study of adolescent pain science education

Hayley B. Leake, Lauren C. Heathcote, Laura E. Simons, Jennifer Stinson, Steven J. Kamper, Christopher M. Williams, Laura L. Burgoyne, Meredith Craigie, Marjolein Kammers, David Moen, Joshua W. Pate, Kimberley Szeto, G. Lorimer Moseley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Persistent pain is a prevalent condition that negatively influences physical, emotional, social and family functioning in adolescents. Pain science education is a promising therapy for adults, yet to be thoroughly investigated for persistent pain in adolescents. There is a need to develop suitable curricula for adolescent pain science education.

Methods: An interdisciplinary meeting of 12 clinicians and researchers was held during March 2018 in Adelaide, South Australia. An a priori objective of the meeting was to identify and gain consensus on key learning objectives for adolescent pain science education using a modified-Delphi process.

Results and Conclusion: Consensus was reached via a modified Delphi process for seven learning objectives to form the foundation of a curriculum: 1) Pain is a protector; 2) The pain system can become overprotective; 3) Pain is a brain output; 4) Pain is not an accurate marker of tissue state; 5) There are many potential contributors to anyone’s pain; 6) We are all bioplastic and; 7) Pain education is treatment. Recommendations are made for promising areas for future research in adolescent pain science education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-208
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Pain
Issue number1
Early online date26 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • pain science education
  • pediatric pain
  • chronic pain
  • education
  • Pain science education


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