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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Pharmacological interventions for recurrent abdominal pain in childhood

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (95th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (87th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
2 blogs
65 tweeters
2 Facebook pages


28 Dimensions

Readers on

167 Mendeley
Pharmacological interventions for recurrent abdominal pain in childhood
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010973.pub2
Pubmed ID

Alice E Martin, Tamsin V Newlove-Delgado, Rebecca A Abbott, Alison Bethel, Joanna Thompson-Coon, Rebecca Whear, Stuart Logan


Between 4% and 25% of school-aged children at some stage complain of recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) of sufficient severity to interfere with their daily lives. When no clear organic cause is found, the children are managed with reassurance and simple measures; a large range of pharmacological interventions have been recommended for use in these children. To determine the effectiveness of pharmacological interventions for RAP in children of school age. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, and eight other electronic databases up to June 2016. We also searched two trials registers and contacted researchers of published studies. Randomised controlled trials involving children aged five to 18 years old with RAP or an abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorder, as defined by the Rome III criteria (Rasquin 2006). The interventions were any pharmacological intervention compared to placebo, no treatment, waiting list, or standard care. The primary outcome measures were pain intensity, pain duration or pain frequency, and improvement in pain. The secondary outcome measures were school performance, social or psychological functioning, and quality of daily life. Two review authors independently screened titles, abstracts, and potentially relevant full-text reports for eligible studies. Two review authors extracted data and performed a 'Risk of bias' assessment. We used the GRADE approach to rate the overall quality of the evidence. We deemed a meta-analysis to be not appropriate as the studies were significantly heterogeneous. We have consequently provided a narrative summary of the results. This review included 16 studies with a total of 1024 participants aged between five and 18 years, all of whom were recruited from paediatric outpatient clinics. Studies were conducted in seven countries: seven in the USA, four in Iran, and one each in the UK, Switzerland, Turkey, Sri Lanka, and India. Follow-up ranged from two weeks to four months. The studies examined the following interventions to treat RAP: tricyclic antidepressants, antibiotics, 5-HT4 receptor agonists, antispasmodics, antihistamines, H2 receptor antagonists, serotonin antagonists, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, a dopamine receptor antagonist, and a hormone. Although some single studies reported that treatments were effective, all of these studies were either small or had key methodological weaknesses with a substantial risk of bias. None of these 'positive' results have been reproduced in subsequent studies. We judged the evidence of effectiveness to be of low quality. No adverse effects were reported in these studies. There is currently no convincing evidence to support the use of drugs to treat RAP in children. Well-conducted clinical trials are needed to evaluate any possible benefits and risks of pharmacological interventions. In practice, if a clinician chooses to use a drug as a 'therapeutic trial', they and the patient need to be aware that RAP is a fluctuating condition and any 'response' may reflect the natural history of the condition or a placebo effect, rather than drug efficacy.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 65 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 167 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 167 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 38 23%
Student > Bachelor 21 13%
Researcher 17 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 14 8%
Student > Ph. D. Student 13 8%
Other 35 21%
Unknown 29 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 56 34%
Nursing and Health Professions 22 13%
Psychology 18 11%
Economics, Econometrics and Finance 7 4%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 6 4%
Other 20 12%
Unknown 38 23%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 56. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 02 December 2019.
All research outputs
of 17,914,782 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,784 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 268,896 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 251 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,914,782 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,784 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 25.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 268,896 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 251 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.