Caring for children with intellectual disabilities Part 1: Experience with the population, pain-related beliefs, and care decisions

Genik, Lara
McMurtry, Meghan
Breau, Lynn
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Some children with intellectual disabilities (ID): experience pain more frequently than children without ID, express their pain differently, and are incapable of providing self-reports. No research has examined disability and pain-related beliefs of respite workers (RW) and their relations to pain assessment and management decisions for children with ID. Objectives: (1) compare disability and pain-related beliefs between RW and a sample with little experience in ID; (2) determine whether individuals’ beliefs and personal characteristics are related to pain assessment and management decisions. Participants: Fifty-six RW (aged: 18 – 67 years, Mage = 33.37, 46 female) and 141 emerging adults (aged: 18 – 31 years, Mage = 19.67, 137 female). Procedure/Measures: In an online survey, participants responded to six vignettes depicting pain in children with ID, and completed measures of pain and disability-related beliefs. Results/Discussion: Compared to those without experience, RW held more positive disability-related beliefs, t(192) = 4.23, p < .001. Participants’ pain-related beliefs (e.g., sensitivity to pain) differed depending on severity of the child’s ID and participant group. Participants’ pain-related beliefs predicted care decisions. Results provide initial insight into RW pain-related beliefs about children with ID, and a basic understanding of the relations among pain beliefs, personal characteristics and pain-related decisions.

children, intellectual disabilitiy, respite, pain management, pain assessment
Genik, L. McMurtry, M. Breau, L. 2017. Caring for Children with Intellectual Disabilities Part 1: Experience with the Population, Pain-Related Beliefs, and Care Decisions. Research in Developmental Disabilities.