Measuring pain in children with developmental disabilities

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research
Department / Centre
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Adrienne Harvey 03 9345 5522 ext 57540
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor David Amor

Summary Pain can be difficult to identify and measure in children with developmental disabilities. This project will use technology to develop innovative methods to measure pain in this population of children.

Project Details

Chronic pain is common in children with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities, yet it is not well understood, is under-identified and poorly managed in this population. One contributing factor is the underutilisation of tools that can adequately identify and measure pain in this medically complex and heterogeneous group. In the typically developing population, self-report is the ‘‘gold-standard” for measuring pain. The selection and administration of pain tools in children with disabilities is complicated by varying abilities of children and adolescents to self-report pain across a spectrum of disability and ages. Many are unable to self-report due to cognitive and/or communication limitations. Consequently, no “gold standard” exists.

This project aims to use technology to develop and validate innovate methods for identifying and measuring pain in children with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. A range of technologies will be explored to: 1) develop methods and processes and 2) validate these against existing methods in children with a range of ages and impairments.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre


Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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