Pediatric chronic pain is a significant public health problem. MBSR has been used in the treatment of a wide variety of clinical conditions, such as chronic pain, whether MBSR is effective for chronic pain in youth remains an empirical question. The proposed study is a two-arm randomized clinical trial examining MBSR for pediatric chronic pain. The specific aims of this study are to 1) explore the feasibility and acceptability of MBSR and 2) provide preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of MBSR in reducing pain and emotional distress, and improving quality of life and function in youth with chronic pain. Eighty participants will be recruited from the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Pain Clinic and randomly assigned to either MBSR or an active control group (psychoeducation). In addition to examining the effectiveness of MBSR and providing effect size estimates for future studies, the proposed project will also investigate whether treatment expectations, mindfulness self-efficacy, or pain catastrophizing predict treatment outcomes. The proposed study would be the first to systematically analyze the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of MBSR for pediatric chronic pain. This study would also establish the first standardized MBSR curriculum for adolescents and pave the way for future, larger RCTs.

Kristen Jastrowski

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin