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UCI Center on Stress & Health

The UCI Center on Stress & Health forms multidisciplinary collaborations to assist children and families manage pain, anxiety and stress surrounding the medical environment and disease burden.

The UCI Center on Stress & Health focuses on multidisciplinary collaborations between anesthesiologists, psychologists, surgeons, pediatricians, nurses, child life specialists, biomedical engineers and computer scientists for the primary objective of working to reduce the amount of pain and anxiety the pediatric surgical population experience.

The research focuses on the investigation of which behaviors impact a child’s postoperative pain and anxiety while in the postoperative recovery area and at home. Researchers at UCI Center on Stress & Health continue to investigate:

  • The influence of preoperative behavioral interactions between children, parents and healthcare providers on children’s anxiety before surgery
  • The relationship between cultural and socio-economical variables and preoperative anxiety in children before surgery
  • The relationship on gender and temperament relate to anxiety before surgery
  • The treatment of pain in children at home, including the relationship of parental misconceptions regarding analgesia for children and practice of administration of pain medication following surgery

With a diverse patient population, researchers can also explore the impact of cultural influences on children’s pain with the goal of developing evidence-based interventions for pain management of children with cancer. The utilization of new technologies shows benefits in allowing pediatric patients and their parents to communicate in real time with their healthcare providers to better manage pain and symptoms. A skills training program via a handheld electronic device for children is being studied to improve home management of pain and symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatments.