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Abdominal Pain Program

Chronic abdominal pain is a common problem that affects up to 20 percent of all school-aged children and teens. Despite how many youth struggle with abdominal pain, there is no clear agreement among medical professionals about how best to manage it. What professionals do agree on is that abdominal pain is complex and can be difficult to treat effectively. 

Clinical Treatment

The Abdominal Pain Program (APP) at Children’s Mercy is a unique clinical and research program devoted to the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with chronic abdominal pain. Nationally, there are a number of “interdisciplinary” pain programs where gastroenterologists and psychologists consult with or refer to each other to provide treatment. The APP at Children’s Mercy is one of a very small number of truly integrated programs. 

Individualized Plans

In the APP, new patients are assessed by a gastroenterologist and psychologist at the same time, in the same clinic visit. We screen/evaluate for a wide variety of potential biologic, psychologic, and social contributors to pediatric abdominal pain. This allows us to establish a comprehensive plan unique to each child or adolescent patient we see. At the end of the evaluation visit, families are presented with a single, integrated treatment plan that addresses the many factors contributing to their child’s pain, as well as the interactions among these factors. 


When it is your child, outcomes matter. That’s why we publish ours. Click here to see more information about parent satisfaction and patient-reported outcomes for our program.  


That’s why we are also an active research program. We still need to better understand chronic abdominal pain in kids to make treatment effective for everyone. In the APP, we are always working hard to improve and routinely incorporate new research findings into patient care. This means that care we provide to your child is always up-to-date and evidence-based.

More information about our research – past, present, and future – can be found by clicking here or on the research tab above.

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