• Children;
  • diary;
  • pain

ISSUES AND PURPOSE. To evaluate the characteristics of vaso-occlusive episodes, home management of pain and its impact on the daily activities, and a diary as a method of data collection.

DESIGN AND METHODS. Forty-six adolescents and 75 children were asked to complete daily diaries during the intervention period of a larger study.

RESULTS. Mild pain was recorded 95% of the time; moderate pain, 3%; and severe pain, 1%. The pattern and location of pain varied greatly. Adolescents used more interventions than did children. When pain intensity was mild, 80% of the children/adolescents maintained school, social, and home activities, but decreased play/sport activities. When pain intensity was high, they decreased their participation in all activities.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS. Sickle cell pain episodes are unpredictable and highly variable. Diaries can enhance children's and adolescents’documentation and communication about their pain experiences.