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Video-Distraction System to Reduce Anxiety and Pain in Children Subjected to Venipuncture in Pediatric Emergencies

We researched the efficacy of distraction with videos in reducing anxiety and pain in children subjected to venipuncture in pediatric emergency. Secondary objectives were to analyze the associations between anticipatory anxiety, real anxiety, perceived pain level and previous history of venipuncture, and between children’s and parents’ anxiety. We also investigated risk factors for moderate/ severe pain. This was a prospective, randomized, controlled study in children from 3 to 11 attended to in the emergency department of one hospital. Recruited patients in 3 subgroups of age (3-5, 6-8 and 9-11) were randomized in one of two groups, videodistraction or non-video-distraction (control). We used scales to assess anxiety and pain. A total of 140 children were enrolled, 70 per group. Levels of anticipatory and real anxiety (p<0.001) and also pain level (p<0.001) were lower in the video-distraction group. There were differences in anticipatory anxiety and previous venipuncture history (p=0.001), but not in pain level and previous venipuncture. There were no gender-based differences in anxiety or pain level. We found age-based differences in pain level, this being higher in children 3-5 years old (p=0.007). There was strong positive correlation between anticipatory and real anxiety (rho=0.6) and between anticipatory anxiety and perceived pain (rho=0.5). Moreover, the higher the real anxiety, the higher the perceived pain (rho=0.8). There was a poor correlation (rho=0.22) between parents’ stress and children’s anticipatory anxiety.


María Concepción N and Gloria Guerrero M

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