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Functional abdominal pain in adolescents: case-based management
  1. Desale Yacob1,2,
  2. Ashley M Kroon Van Diest2,3,
  3. Carlo Di Lorenzo1,2
  1. 1 Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  2. 2 Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  3. 3 Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Desale Yacob, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH 43205, USA; desalegn.yacob{at}


Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), including functional abdominal pain (FAP), account for a large portion of conditions seen by paediatric gastroenterologists. Despite the commonality of FGIDs, there remains significant stigma around these diagnoses among medical providers, patients and families. This is due to the absence of easily identifiable biological markers in FGIDs and the overlay with psychological and social factors contributing to symptom onset and maintenance. As such, the biopsychosocial model is essential in conceptualising, evaluating and treating FGIDs. The way in which medical providers explain FGIDs and the manner in which they collaborate with other specialists (eg, psychologists, dieticians, physical therapists, school nurses) is paramount to the patient and family acceptance of an FGID diagnosis and the success of subsequent treatment. The following review outlines paediatric FGIDs with a focus on FAP in adolescents, in particular within the context of the biopsychosocial approach to pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment.

  • functional bowel disorder
  • psychological stress
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • abdominal pain
  • functional dyspepsia

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  • Collaborators None.

  • Contributors All authors met and planned the review paper and tasks were divided equally amongst all three authors. Authors submitted their assigned sections to DY who compiled them together. DY and AMKVD generated the generic case. CDL was responsible for writing the abstract, introduction and a portion of the medical treatment section. DY was responsible for a portion of the pathophysiology and wrote the diagnosis and conclusion sections of the paper. AMKVD was responsible for the other portion of the pathophysiology section, the section titled as “other treatment” and creating the figure. All participated in reviewing the draft and editing. DY was responsible for submitting the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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