Psychological treatment for pediatric functional abdominal pain disorders

Stevie Puckett-Perez, Brittany Gresl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewThe purpose of this review is to discuss up-to-date psychological treatment strategies for functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs) with practical implications for primary care providers who are the "front line" of treatment for pediatric FAPD.Recent findingsPositive diagnosis, pain education, and access to multidisciplinary care improve outcomes for FAPD patients. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and hypnosis continue to have the strongest evidence in psychological treatments, but educational interventions and other nonpharmacological approaches show promise as well. There are innovative programs that combine these tools into group or internet-based treatments to expand access to care. Additionally, nonpharmacological tools, including neurostimulation and virtual reality programs, are increasing in popularity.SummaryFAPD is prevalent across pediatric practices, yet there is no standard medical or dietary approach, and there are many barriers to diagnosis and treatment. It is important for patients to have positive encounters around diagnosis and education, access to multidisciplinary care, and integrated psychological support. Consistently, studies show that psychology continues to be a vital component of care. This review discusses supported uses of psychology, innovative programming for increasing access to care, and how primary care providers can incorporate lessons learned from psychology in FAPD care.Video Abstract

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-520
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • functional abdominal pain
  • functional abdominal pain disorders
  • nonpharmacological pain treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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