Efficacy of a Brief Relaxation Training Intervention for Pediatric Recurrent Abdominal Pain

Katrina M. Bell, Elizabeth A. Meadows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study is a preliminary investigation of the efficacy of a brief intervention for recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) via a multiple baseline across subjects design. The intervention consisted of a single 1-hour session including psychoeducation and coaching of breathing retraining; the length, duration, and content of the intervention were designed with a goal of maximum portability to primary-care settings. Five children with recurrent abdominal pain participated in this study, 1 of whom served as a pilot participant. Children received the intervention at 1-week intervals. Parent and child reports of each child's abdominal pain, general somatic complaints, functional disability, and anxiety were collected throughout the study. All children participated in a 3-month follow-up session. Results indicated that this brief intervention was successful in lessening abdominal pain, as demonstrated by decreased Abdominal Pain Index (API) scores in two children and decreased abdominal pain following breathing retraining practice in all children. The intervention was also successful in decreasing some children's general somatic symptoms. Functional disability and anxiety symptoms remained consistent for all children throughout the study, which may be due to low levels of these symptoms pretreatment. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-92
Number of pages12
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Breathing retraining
  • Pediatric
  • Recurrent abdominal pain


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