Objective. To study the effect of an active distraction technique on pain in preschool children receiving diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus immunization.
Design. Randomized, unblinded controlled study.
Setting. Columbus Public Health Department Immunization Clinics.
Participants. One hundred forty-nine 4- to 7-year-old children.
Intervention. Children were taught to blow out air repeatedly during the injection, as if they were blowing bubbles.
Results. Children who were taught to blow out air during their shots had significantly fewer pain behaviors (P < .04) and demonstrated a trend toward lower subjectively reported pain (P = .06). There was no significant difference in the nurse or parent visual analog scale scores.
Conclusions. A simple distraction technique can be effective in helping children cope with the pain of immunization. The use of such a technique to relieve the pain and distress associated with even a brief painful procedure should be encouraged.
- Received April 16, 1993.
- Accepted July 18, 1993.
- Copyright © 1994 by the American Academy of Pediatrics