Our Research

Learning and Memory in Pediatric Chronic Pain

Given the influential role of learning and memory on pain outcomes in youth with chronic pain, the goal of the current study is to examine the process of aversive learning in adolescents with pain in comparison to healthy controls. This study utilizes brain imaging (fmri) and psychophysical (skin conductance) measures to assess functional circuit and physiological changes associated with altered learning and memory patterns.

Scanning Circles Of Pain Engagement (SCOPE)

 Parents of children with chronic pain are more likely to suffer from fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety. Also the other way around, it has been suggested that child’s pain can be influenced by the parents. Empathic distress might be a key factor herein. In this study, we will therefore investigate parents’ empathic responses to their child’s pain, how this is influenced by emotion regulation processes and fear of pain, and how this affects parental responses to child's pain. We will approach this question using psychological questionnaires, skin conductance, heart rate variability, and brain MRI to measure functional and physiological changes in response to pictures.

GET Living

A treatment study for children and adolescents with chronic pain or headache.

GET Living is an innovative, individualized outpatient treatment program for children and adolescents with chronic pain or headache focused on progressively engaging in activities of daily living that are difficult to do. During GET Living, parents and patients work jointly with a physical therapist and cognitive behavioral therapist to return to valued activities such as school, sports and spending time with friends and build the skills to 'get living.'

Children’s Pain Behaviors in Context

Chronic and recurrent pain is a common health problem among children and adolescents. In collaboration with Ghent University in Belgium and Boston Children's Hospital, we seek to better understand the daily functioning of children with chronic pain. This study will use daily diaries that are filled out by the parent and child for 14 days that ask about the child's emotional and physical functioning throughout their participation. It is our goal to better understand the dynamics of behavior and chronic pain in the pediatric population. 

Bodily Awareness After Cancer

Forty years ago, three quarters of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer died - today, three quarters survive but survival, however, is often accompanied by a debilitating fear that the cancer will return, a fear that can be intensified by bodily sensations such as pain, breathlessness, and fatigue. Although these bodily sensations are part of living a normal, active lifestyle, knowing how to appraise and cope with them is a tremendous challenge during cancer survivorship. Currently there is no guidance for clinicians on how to accurately measure young survivors’ fear and worry about bodily sensations or how to target these fears during intervention. This research project will address this empirical and clinical gap using phenomenologically-guided qualitative interviews and the design a new self-report measure: The Body Awareness After Cancer Scale (BAACS).


Research Measures

Participate in a Study

Study Contact Information

If you are interested in learning more or participating in these studies, please contact PedsPainLab@stanford.edu.