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CANSA's Tough Living with Cancer (TLC) Programme

PEP-Talks Training for CANSA Staff on Pain in Children

PEP-Talks Training for CANSA Staff on Pain in Children

A recent study conducted in a South African hospital concluded that “the prevalence of pain in hospitalised paediatric patients is unacceptably high”, and that “there is an urgent need for pain training and education, and the implementation of guidelines and protocols for pain assessment, prevention and treatment”. According to PaedsPain SA, the special interest group of PainSA focusing on paediatric pain management, “poorly treated pain [in the paediatric population] leads to long-term physical, physiological and psychological consequences, and has emerged as a public health issue”.

It is therefore crucial to ensure that children do not experience unnecessary pain. PEProgram, together with the non-profit organisation JellyBeanz, are the recipients of the 2019 International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Developing Countries Project: Initiative for Improving Pain Education for the project: PEP-Talks on pain in children. This grant enables workshops that will educate and equip healthcare workers to understand and adequately address childhood pain.

One of these workshops was presented to CANSA staff and volunteers and focused on the prevention and management of pain experienced by children diagnosed with cancer.

Two 2.5-hour webinars were conducted exclusively with CANSA staff on the 2 & 9 March 2020.

Presenter: Dr Annemarie Oberholzer


  • Introduction
  • Barriers preventing adequate pain management in infants and children; Misconceptions;
  • Consequences of inadequate pain management in infants and children
  • The nature of pain
  • Definition; Classification; Physiology and pain pathways; Multiple dimensions of pain
  • How children understand pain
  • How to explain pain to children
  • Pain assessment
  • Factors influencing the assessment of children’s pain and pain experience; Different scales, tools and observations
  • What cause pain in children
  • Focus on pain experienced by children who have been diagnosed with cancer
  • Goals for pain control
  • Non-pharmacological methods to prevent and reduce pain as well as pharmacological management of pain
  • Involve the family Discussing pain management strategies with parents

BOOKLET: How to become a Pain Investigator into Childhood Pain


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