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Airing Pain 99: Transition Services for Adolescents with Chronic Pain

Exploring the challenges and successes that patients, parents and healthcare professionals encounter when pain in adolescents

This edition was funded by a grant by the Agnes Hunter Trust.

Going through adolescence can be a difficult process for anyone, but for young adults with chronic pain the difficulties of these formative years can become multifaceted. With 8% of young people in the 13-18 age range affected by chronic pain (15,000 living with arthritis alone), the transition to adulthood, and the medical support that accompanies it, is an important process. In this edition of Airing Pain we explore the challenges and successes that patients, parents and healthcare professionals encounter when entering this crucial period.

Pain management consultant Dr Mary Rose and nurse Mandy Sim of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh speak to Paul Evans about the methods they use to make the transition into adulthood as supportive as possible, as well as the importance of educating patients, parents and schools on the biopsychosocial aspects of pain and its management.

Dr Alison Bliss, paediatric anaesthesia and chronic pain consultant at Leeds Children’s Hospital, emphasises the importance of finding a balance between cultivating independence in young-adults with pain and helping them find the support in their transitional period.

Paul also speaks to Dr Line Caes, psychology lecturer at Stirling University, touches on the nuances in dealing with how young people see themselves in comparison to their peers and making the classroom a more accepting space.

Issues covered in this programme include: Alcohol, arthritis, children and young people, chronic pain as a condition in its own right, chronic primary pain, depression, drug abuse and misuse, family, mental health, pacing, peer support, relationships, self-harm and youth services.


  • Dr Mary Rose, Consultant at the pain management clinic at Edinburgh’s Sick Children’s Hospital
  • Mandy Sim, Pain Nurse Sspecialist at Edinburgh’s Sick Children’s Hospital pain management clinic
  • Dr Alison Bliss, Consultant in Paediatric Anaesthesia and Chronic Pain at Leeds Children’s Hospital
  • Dr Line Caes, Psychology Lecturer at University of Stirling’s School of Natural Science, researcher in paediatric psychology and psychological aspects of children’s pain.

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