Top Texas pediatric hospital on why pain management for kids matters
As world-renowned experts in healing muscles, joints, and bones, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is known for treating the whole child — mind, body, and spirit.
Psychological care is a critical part of treatment for children and adolescents, and studies have shown that considering mental and emotional factors before, during, and after procedures often results in quicker healing and shorter rehabilitation periods.
Why is it so important? Staff pediatric psychologist Dr. Teresa Collins-Jones explains.
"Incorporating psychology enables us to look at the whole child and identify contextual factors that may impede the flow of a treatment plan and its outcome," she says. "When we can intervene with patients that have high anxiety, a history of depression, or previous negative experiences with hospitalization, we can modify their views of how they receive treatment, as well as lessen their fear of pain, which improves their mindset and leads to a more positive outcome."
Consulting with a child before surgery is ideal, as the conversations clarifying the surgery and recovery can be held without the added stress of an upcoming operation.
This may seem obvious, but Dr. Collins-Jones says that it's only starting to become well known in several pediatric fields.
"Research shows that incorporating psychological care into treatment of orthopedic conditions is very effective," she says. "We at Scottish Rite Hospital understand the importance of working closely with the child and his/her caregivers throughout treatment. We are unique because our pediatric psychologists are members of the treatment team and provide integrated care. Not a lot of places do, which gives us the chance to be a part of the entire process, from the first visit to post-rehab."
A vital part of what Dr. Collins-Jones and her staff do is assess not just the child, but their social support network. From their caregivers at home to after-school activities, it's crucial to understand how long and in what way the pain has impacted his or her life, and what is expected upon recovery.
"Pain is multidimensional," she says. "It's not just a fleeting feeling, but something that affects a child's ability to function and enjoy life. Letting them voice their thoughts and fears about pain, as well as beliefs about their treatment and recovery, gives them an outlet to identify and address what they are feeling. We know this can help reduce pain intensity, reduce pain-specific disability, and improve health-related quality of life."
The team of experts at Scottish Rite Hospital’s six Centers for Excellence treat a wide range of orthopedic conditions, including scoliosis, hip disorders, clubfoot and other pediatric foot conditions, sports injuries, hand differences, and limb length discrepancies.
They recently opened a second location in Frisco, Scottish Rite for Children Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center, in addition to the original Dallas facility. In both locations, specialists provide accessible, top-quality care for all families.