Recurrent pediatric abdominal pain: probiotics offer short-term relief

  • Newlove-Delgado T & al.
  • JAMA Pediatr
  • 28 Dec 2018

  • curated by Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • For pediatric recurrent abdominal pain, probiotics might provide short-term relief, but supplemental fiber does not seem to help.

Why this matters

  • Recurrent abdominal pain touches all aspects of QoL and affects up to 1 in 4 school-aged children.
  • For this synopsis, authors updated  earlier Cochrane review with 2 studies.

Key results

  • 0-3 months after starting probiotics, children had pain improvement vs placebo:
    • OR, 1.63 (95% CI, 1.07-2.47; 7 studies; n=772; evidence quality moderate).
    • Number needed to treat: 8.
  • Also decreased with probiotics at 0-3 months:
    • Pain frequency: standardized mean difference (SMD), −0.55 (95% CI, −0.98 to −0.12; 6 trials; n=523); and
    • Pain intensity: SMD, −0.50 (95% CI, −0.85 to −0.15; 7 trials; n=575); low-quality evidence for both.
  • At 3-6 months (only 2 studies), pain also improved with probiotics (OR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.10-3.43; n=224; moderate-quality evidence). 
  • Fiber did not improve pain at 0-3 months (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 0.92-3.65; 2 studies; n=136; low-quality evidence).

Study design

  • Meta-analysis, 19 trials, n=1453 children at pediatric gastroenterology clinics, average ages 6.3-13.1 years.
  • Outcomes: included pain improvement, intensity, frequency.
  • Funding: National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research; Care South West Peninsula, UK.

Limitations

  • Low- to moderate-quality evidence, pain scales varied.

Please confirm your acceptance

To gain full access to GPnotebook please confirm:

By submitting here you confirm that you have accepted Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of GPnotebook.

Submit