Grant Application

Tracy Ann Pasek, DNP, RN UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Proposed Innovation

Headaches are among the most common disorders seen in children. Children who experience chronic migraines or headaches often miss school and miss out on social activities. They can be quite disruptive to the lives of children and their families.

Through this project, “Comfort Ability” workshops will be offered through the Headache Program at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to help children and their caregivers learn strategies to better manage chronic pain.

Improvements in Action

The “Comfort Ability” workshop is a fun, relaxed, and interactive one-day program that teaches families novel approaches for managing chronic pediatric pain such as headache and migraine. Through this hands-on workshop, children learn about the nervous system and how negative emotions and stress make pain worse. They also experiment with biofeedback and aromatherapy and engage in group art therapy. Parents and caregivers learn about factors that influence pain, skills for responding to their child’s pain, and how to set up a structured plan for supporting their child’s self-care and coping.

Intended Outcomes

Participation in the workshop is expected to empower children to avoid emergency department visits and hospital admissions as they learn to better manage their pain. Other anticipated outcomes include a return to normal daily routines, fewer missed days of school, and improved relationships and trust among children, families, and providers.