STEPACHE - The pediatric roots of amplified pain: from contextual influences to risk stratification

Raquel Lucas

Principal Investigator

Integrated Member (PhD)

Type of project:



PTDC/SAU-EPI/29087/2017 (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029087)

Proposing institution:


Sources of financing:

P2020|COMPETE – Projetos em Todos os Domínios Científicos - FCT

Approval date:


Start date:


(Predicted) End date:


Total budget:

238.183,30 €

Research line:

L1 - Life Course Research and Healthy Ageing

Research lab:

Population Design of Musculoskeletal Health and Disease


Chronic pain poses a major burden for individuals and societies. Important challenges persist, regarding the understanding and prediction of amplified pain syndromes that track from childhood. We will use data collected as part of the large Generation XXI cohort, comprising children recruited at birth and evaluated again at ages 4, 7 and 10. Specifically, we will:

1) characterize an amplified pain response phenotype in early adolescence, by using quantitative sensory testing;

2) test the hypothesis of early psychosocial adversity as determinant of the pain experience, via systemic inflammation;

and 3) develop a risk stratification tool for amplified pain to be used in clinical settings based on history of reported pain features. The present project is crucial to typify pain response in children and to stratify the risk of amplified pain. It will also allow to test a novel hypotheses involving the role of psychosocial adversity and inflammation in producing amplified pain.


Funding approved by the Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Program in its FEDER component, by the Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P.

Research team