Pain Medicine

Pain Rehabilitation Program

What is the Pain Rehabilitation Program (PreP)?

The Pain Rehabilitation Program (PReP) treats children and teens with persistent or chronic pain problems. The program is for youth who have not had success with outpatient pain treatment and those who need rehabilitation services in a more intensive setting.

What are the goals of the program? 

Improve functioning so your child can go back to their normal routine. This includes things like going to school and joining in social and athletic activities.

  • Teach your child ways to cope with pain and stress.
  • Reduce or get rid of pain, when possible.
  • Reduce or get rid of pain, when possible.

How long is PReP?

It is a full-day outpatient treatment program that meets Monday through Friday. Treatment usually lasts 2 weeks. 

What can I expect? 

We will work with you to define a plan for successfully completing the program (discharge) before you begin. Each week you will receive a schedule for treatment and updated discharge plans for your child.

Depending on the needs of your child, an adult (parent or an adult family member) may need to be with them between appointments and during lunch.

Your appointments

This table explains the types of appointments your child and you will attend each week. It includes information about the appointments, who attends, when and how long they are, and goals.

First visit with pain psychologist

For 1 hour: Define treatment goals
Pain Medicine medical visit with PReP provider and nurse

At the start of each week, for 1 hour: Physical exams that focus on progress issues and safety
Team meeting with PReP team

Thursday each week, for 30 minutes: Review progress, identify goals and determine if your child is ready to complete the program
Weekly visits with pain psychologist
Several times each week, for 1 hour: Help with strategies to cope with and control pain
Social Work visit
Weekly, for 45 minutes: Discuss what you and your child need during and after leaving the program
Physical and occupational therapy with PT/OT provider
Daily: Improve strength, endurance, range of motion and balance

Parent caregiver group with pain psychologist
Weekly, for 1 hour: Pain education and parenting strategies to support treatment

Most days, for 1 hour: Complete school work they bring from home

What happens during lunch or breaks?

Your child will have a break for lunch every day. We highly recommended you stay on the hospital campus for lunch. If you go off campus, please be back in time for the next appointment.

Where and when do I check in each morning?

Check in at the Ocean zone, level 8 registration desk each morning. Plan to arrive 15 minutes before your child’s first appointment of the day.

What if I am late, cannot attend an appointment, or need to contact my child?

If you are late or cannot attend an appointment, call Occupational/Physical Therapy at 206-987-2113.

For all other questions or concerns, call the Pain Medicine Clinic nurse line at 206-987-1520, option 4.

What should my child wear and pack for the day?

  • Shorts and a T-shirt
  • Sweat pants and jacket
  • Supportive athletic shoes
  • Water bottle
  • School work
  • Lunch and healthy snacks or money for the cafeteria
  • Phone or tablet device (can be used during downtimes or when deemed appropriate by your child’s treatment team)

You and your child are responsible for the items you bring.

Once my child has completed the program, what can I expect?

The goal of treatment is to help with functioning so that pain can improve. Sometimes patients complete the program with improved function and still have some pain. Each child’s response to the program is different.

Our team will work with you to help transition your child from the program to the community. You and your child will have follow-up appointments scheduled with us 4 to 6 weeks after the program.

How to Enroll in the Program

  1. The first step is an evaluation in the Pain Medicine Clinic. No one is admitted to PReP without this step. If you are interested in the program, call the clinic at 206-987-1520 to set up an evaluation.
  2. Your child will have a half-day evaluation where they will see a doctor, a psychologist and either a physical therapist or an occupational therapist from our team. The team will review all records, take a complete history, do a physical exam and ask your child to do functional tasks (such as walking, running and going up stairs).
  3. Then the team will have a care conference to come up with a plan that matches your child’s needs. They will consider whether PReP is right for your child.
  4. If the team recommends the program, your child will be placed on a waiting list. Because the therapy is so intensive and individualized, we are only able to serve 2 patients per week.

If you are coming from outside the Seattle area, you may want to read the Hospital Campus Visitor and Family Guide to learn about transportation, places to stay and more.