The ACHH Initiative is committed to fully understanding the complexities of how Indigenous youth’s pain and hurt is expressed and treated, but our work doesn’t end there. We are also taking steps to find better ways to help clinicians support youth in conveying their hurt. An important piece of this puzzle is incorporating traditional, Indigenous ways of healing and self-management. Addressing this issue from multiple perspectives is crucial to finding long-lasting solutions.
Indigenous youth participants told us the pain assessment processes used in hospitals and clinics do not resonate with them. Instead they prefer to communicate their pain through storytelling. Based on this finding we began the development of a more interactive way to measure pain that will be easier and more culturally-relevant for Indigenous youth to use in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.
The Kids Hurt App will allow children and youth to articulate their pain and hurt through stories and descriptions, while remaining stoic in their pain expression. The App is not meant to diagnosis pain but rather enhance the two-way flow of communication from patient and family to clinicians.
The Kids Hurt App is currently in development. Our participants have told us that emotional pain is equally as important so we are now in the process of completing testing to add in this component as well. Please visit the website www.kidshurtapp.com and send us your feedback: ACHH@iwk.nshealth.ca