We have enjoyed a beautiful day with our hosts Prof. Dr. Boris Zernikow, Dr. Julia Wager, Lorin Stahlschmidt and Ann-Kristin Ruhe at the German Paediatric Pain Centre Datteln at the Vestische Children’s and Adolescents’ Clinic, Univeristy of Witten/Herdecke.
During our visit we could gain insights into their research and practice in context of chronic pain management of children and adolescents. We better understand now the importance of early interventions for successful treatment and care of children and adolescents affected by chronic pain. Currently, there is only insufficient care available for this target group in Germany. Psychosomatic complaints and how affected children and families deal with the burdens in daily life is an important public health topic and, therefore, also increasing importance for health promotion and primary prevention in childhood and adolescence. This is especially related to the fact that chronic pain has negative impact on the quality of life of affected as well as on physical health and mental well-being.
Therefore, the Institute has developed an important contact point for children and adolescents with severely disabling pain, and has established itself over time as the German centre for the care of children with chronic pain conditions. In recognition of its long-standing and successful work, the children’s outpatient clinic received the distinction of “Select Place 2011”. This was followed by the founding of the German Paediatric Pain Centre in January 2012.
In order to improve the situation of affected children, adolescents, and families, the German Paediatric Pain Centre is involved in various research activities and projects. These mainly focus on chronic pain in children and adolescents, palliative situations and the evaluation of further education programs. Besides studies of symptoms, methods of measurement or the effectiveness of medications, studies in the areas of care research and evaluation projects are carried out. Members of the research team also supervise diploma and doctoral students in the completion of their degree and doctoral work.
To safeguard quality, research projects led by multi-professional teams follow patient care. Significant milestones towards the improvement of the situation of children with chronic pain conditions have been achieved in projects conducted to date.
From the viewpoint of child pain therapy, health literacy in children and adolescents is increasing importance, especially in context of chronic pain management. Holistically, for this type of health care, and from a whole setting perspective, besides the health literacy of children and adolescents also the health literacy of parents and health professionals involved in research and care is of significant importance, which has to be highlighted in this context.
We are glad and very thankful to have been introduced to the team of the German Paediatric Pain Centre and that we could explore their great facilities in Datteln , NRW.
For more information:
German Paediatric Pain Centre: http://www.deutsches-kinderschmerzzentrum.de
Child pain therapy and paediatric palliative care at University of Witten/Herdecke: http://www.uni-wh.de/gesundheit/lehrstuhl-kinderschmerztherapie-palliativmedizin/