This article describes developments in pain assessment in critically ill neonates and infants during the last 5 to 6 years. Pain assessment instruments show a redundancy of items and a lack of profound psychometric background. Although most research focuses primarily on acute pain, in clinical practice there is also the challenge of assessing prolonged and/or persisting pain. The effectiveness of pain assessment is still a matter of debate and has recently been challenged as a primary end point in analgesia-related trials. Integration of observation of behavior with reliable and specific neurobiology-based parameters remains a challenge.

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Pediatric Clinics of North America
Department of Pediatric Surgery

van Dijk, M., & Tibboel, D. (2012). Update on Pain Assessment in Sick Neonates and Infants. Pediatric Clinics of North America (Vol. 59, pp. 1167–1181). doi:10.1016/j.pcl.2012.07.012