A psychological intervention for pediatric chest pain: Development and open trial

Joshua D. Lipsitz, Merav Gur, Anne Marie Albano, Brian Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Noncardiac chest pain (NCCP) is a common and persistent problem for children and adolescents; typically there is no clear medical cause. To date, no psychological intervention has been studied for chest pain in a pediatric sample. METHODS: (a) We developed a brief psychological treatment for chest pain and associated worry in children and adolescents with NCCP. This program includes psychoeducation, breathing retraining, cognitive coping strategies, and 1 session of parent education and coaching regarding the impact of reinforcement on pain and coping behaviors. (b) We treated 9 youngsters with chronic NCCP, assessing pain, somatization, disability, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and coping. Assessments were conducted before, after, and 6 months following treatment. RESULTS: After treatment, there was a significant decrease in chest pain and somatization. Benefits were maintained at 6-month follow-up. There was no decrease in associated psychological symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: A brief psychological treatment for pediatric NCCP is feasible to administer and may help alleviate symptoms of pediatric NCCP. Further study in a randomized trial is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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