The Effectiveness of Complementary Therapies on the Pain Experience of Hospitalized Children


complementary therapy, pain, children, pain management


Pain is a complex phenomenon for children, and the concepts of hospitalization and pain are often linked in the minds of children. Despite best-practice guidelines and standards related to pain management, many hospitalized children continue to have unrelieved pain. This suggests that analgesics alone do not sufficiently relieve their discomfort. Complementary therapies may have an important role in holistic pediatric pain management. This review of literature evaluates available evidence related to the use and effectiveness of complementary therapies on the pain experience of children in hospital settings. Thirteen recent research articles relative to this topic were located and included in this review. A variety of complementary therapies, including relaxation, distraction, hypnosis, art therapies, and imagery, are included. Results of the research are mixed, and further investigation is required.

Original Publication Citation

Lassetter. J. H. (2006). The effectiveness of complementary therapies on the pain experience of hospitalized children. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 24(3), 196-208.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Holistic Nursing





University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor