Working with children ages 8-12, a preliminary study found that two new nurse-led techniques showed promise in reducing the fear of needles in elementary-aged children:
Lead researcher Dr Felicity Braithwaite from UNISA says that helping children reduce the fear and distress surrounding vaccination is an important research priority given the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“For many children, going through the needle procedure can be painful and upsetting,” says Dr. Braithwaite. “Negative experiences of vaccination in childhood can often lead to medical avoidance and vaccine hesitancy in adulthood, which can have devastating consequences when it comes to outbreaks of preventable diseases. Helping children manage their fears about needles By investing more time in technologies to do this, we hope to change these outcomes and deliver better health outcomes for the next generation.”
Impact of two new nurse-led technologies
The study involved 41 children and their parents, in which participants were randomly allocated to one of four groups — usual care, divided attention, positive memory reframing, or a combination of the latter two interventions. Clinical outcomes were assessed at baseline, immediately after vaccination, and at two weeks post-vaccination.
split meditation techniques It consisted of a one- to two-minute distraction game where a nurse tapped the child’s hand up and down the vaccination site in a random order, with the child focusing their attention on guessing which spot was touched each time. was. This game takes advantage of the potential analgesic effects of distraction.
Positive Memory Reframing Techniques This includes talking to children about past injections and emphasizing positive aspects, such as how brave the child was and praising specific strategies they used to reduce their own distress, for example, deepening. Breathe in and look away. It aims to foster a sense of self-efficacy to help children cope better.
Both strategies were tested in non-clinical settings (such as schools) to maximize the potential of comprehensive immunization programs that provide minimal distress for children.