Article

Distraction techniques in children during venipuncture: an Italian experience

Health Sciences Department, University of Genoa, Italy.
Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene 03/2012; 53(1):44-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Venepuncture in chronically-ill patients is one of the invasive procedures most frequently repeated during the day. Most children are frightened and anxious before this procedure, and during venepuncture they cry, suffer pain and refuse to cooperate, whereas parents are often worried and do not know how to help. Studies suggest that the first experiences of pain in neonatal age can be associated with altered reactions to pain during childhood and in adulthood.
Our sample included 203 patients aged between 2 and 15 years. During venepuncture a video was shown to the patient. Pain and parent collaboration were measured using validated scales.
Significant differences were observed between the mean score of pain in patients undergoing venepuncture with audiovisual distracting technique (2.53 +/- 1.76) and the mean score obtained in those undergoing venepuncture without this technique (5.22 +/- 2.53). In the group with audio-video distractors, the mean level of cooperation was 0.38 (SD = 0.63) compared to 0.20 (SD = 0.54) in the control group. In relation to the presence of parents, no significant differences were found in the mean pain scores (P = 0,5 > 0,05), whereas the mean scores of cooperation were significantly different (P = 0.0076 < 0.05)
Audio-visual distraction effectively improved pain management and favoured children's cooperation during venepuncture. This technique is cost-effective, so it can be widely used for pain management and to promote cooperation with the child, two aspects that are of key importance in building a relationship of trustworthiness

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