Biofeedback: A Practitioner's Guide

By Mark S. Schwartz; Frank Andrasik | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 31
Pediatric Applications
Other Than Headache

TIMOTHY P. CULBERT

GERARD A. BANEZ

Health care service and delivery paradigms for children continue to evolve, and as they do, there is clear recognition of the complex interplay of mind and body evident in virtually all manifestations of disease, illness, health and wellness. The mainstream pediatric literature continues to see an increase in the publication of papers on mind–body techniques, and this increase parallels the increasing recognition of psychophysiological problems in pediatric care (Starfield & Borkowf, 1969; Sharp & Pantell, 1992; Sugarman, 1996). The field of biofeedback as applied to pediatric populations is poised to make a major contribution in both the assessment and treatment of many common childhood biobehavioral (or psychophysiological) disorders, because it provides concrete evidence for mind–body links and offers a means to address both somatic and emotional/behavioral components of these complex problems (Culbert, Kajander, & Reaney, 1996; Smith, 1991; Barowsky, 1990).

Scientific research, ongoing studies, and clinical experience suggest that biofeedback and related self-regulation techniques are effective and will play increasingly prominent roles in well-child care, school settings, performance enhancement of all kinds, and the care of children with chronic illness and disability (Sussman & Culbert, 1999). This chapter briefly reviews the relationship of biofeedback to other relevant areas of pediatric care; describes features of biofeedback as applied to children and adolescents that differentiate it from adult approaches; and reviews biofeedback applications for specific childhood disorders. (Note: Biofeedback for pediatric headache, electroencephalographic "EEG" biofeedback for attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder "ADHD", and heart rate variability "HRV" training are reviewed in other chapters of this book.)


WHY BIOFEEDBACK, WHY NOW?

As is the case in adult medicine, pediatric health professionals continue to see an increasing percentage of patients presenting with psychophysiological disorders and psychosocially mediated morbidity. Studies suggest that as many as 25% of children and adolescents experience these multidimensional problems (Brugman, Reijneveld, Verlhulst, & Verloove

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