An Update on the Assessment and Management of Pediatric Abdominal Pain

Pediatric Health Med Ther. 2021 Aug 6;12:373-393. doi: 10.2147/PHMT.S287719.eCollection 2021.

Craig Friesen 1, Jennifer M Colombo 1, Amanda Deacy 1, Jennifer V Schurman 1


Author information

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; Children's Mercy Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA.


Chronic abdominal pain is very common in children and adolescent and results in high personal and social costs. Most youth with chronic abdominal pain fulfill criteria for a functional abdominal pain disorder (FAPD) as defined by Rome criteria. These are complex conditions with a wide array of biological, psychological, and social factors contributing to the experience of pain. The purpose of the current review is to provide an overview of the pathophysiology of FAPDs and an up-to-date summary of the literature related to FAPDs in children and adolescents, with additional focus on several areas (eg, diet and probiotics) where patients and families frequently have questions or implement self-directed care. We also provide an approach to the assessment and treatment of pediatric FAPDs focusing on the robust literature regarding psychological interventions and much sparser literature regarding medication treatment.


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