Pediatric Annals

CME Article 

Functional Abdominal Pain and Separation Anxiety: Helping the Child Return to School

Lynn S. Walker, PhD; Joy Beck, PhD; Julia Anderson, MD

Abstract

You have just reassured Mrs. Lee that the medical evaluation is normal and that her daughter, Angela, does not have a life threatening disease. You explain that Angela has functional abdominal pain, a condition that causes real pain but does not require activity restriction. In fact, children cope better with functional abdominal pain when they continue their normal activities. You tell the family that Angela may return to school tomorrow.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Lynn S. Walker, PhD; Joy Beck, PhD; and Julia Anderson, MD, are with the Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Program, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University, Nashville.

Address correspondence to: Lynn S. Walker, PhD, Division of Adolescent Medicine and Behavioral Science, 11128 Doctors’ Office Tower, Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN 37232-9060; or e-mail lynn.walker@vanderbilt.edu.

Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by NIH R01 HD23264.

Dr. Walker, Dr. Beck, and Dr. Anderson have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Abstract

You have just reassured Mrs. Lee that the medical evaluation is normal and that her daughter, Angela, does not have a life threatening disease. You explain that Angela has functional abdominal pain, a condition that causes real pain but does not require activity restriction. In fact, children cope better with functional abdominal pain when they continue their normal activities. You tell the family that Angela may return to school tomorrow.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Lynn S. Walker, PhD; Joy Beck, PhD; and Julia Anderson, MD, are with the Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Program, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University, Nashville.

Address correspondence to: Lynn S. Walker, PhD, Division of Adolescent Medicine and Behavioral Science, 11128 Doctors’ Office Tower, Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN 37232-9060; or e-mail lynn.walker@vanderbilt.edu.

Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by NIH R01 HD23264.

Dr. Walker, Dr. Beck, and Dr. Anderson have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

You have just reassured Mrs. Lee that the medical evaluation is normal and that her daughter, Angela, does not have a life threatening disease. You explain that Angela has functional abdominal pain, a condition that causes real pain but does not require activity restriction. In fact, children cope better with functional abdominal pain when they continue their normal activities. You tell the family that Angela may return to school tomorrow.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Lynn S. Walker, PhD; Joy Beck, PhD; and Julia Anderson, MD, are with the Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Program, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University, Nashville.

Address correspondence to: Lynn S. Walker, PhD, Division of Adolescent Medicine and Behavioral Science, 11128 Doctors’ Office Tower, Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN 37232-9060; or e-mail lynn.walker@vanderbilt.edu.

Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by NIH R01 HD23264.

Dr. Walker, Dr. Beck, and Dr. Anderson have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

10.3928/00904481-20090501-07

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