What is it about?

Total pain is a description of pain in four categories: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. They also intertwined together thus using only medications to help with physical pain may not be enough to relieve all the pain that a person suffers from. This case report is one example of how the healthcare team helps a teenage boy from his total pain.

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Why is it important?

This case highlights the complexity of caring for adolescents who have life-limiting illnesses. They usually become more mature faster than their peers due to their illness and may need greater involvement in their decision-making as well.


I felt morally obliged to write about him due to the complexity of his suffering. He was one of the most challenging cases in my working life mainly due to my lack of competency at that time. Hopefully, his story will prevent what had happened to him to happen again.

Dr Tharin Phenwan
University of Dundee

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Relieving total pain in an adolescent: a case report, BMC Research Notes, May 2018, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1186/s13104-018-3368-8.
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