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Pain, distress, and adult-child interaction during venipuncture in pediatric oncology: an examination of three types of venous access

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Spagrud, L. J.; von Baeyer, C. L.; Ali, K.; Mpofu, C.; Fennell, L. P.; Friesen, K.; Mitchell, J.

This study examined pain and distress from needles in children undergoing blood sampling as a function of adult-child interaction and type of venous access (i.e., central external venous lines, internalized ports, or peripheral access via venipuncture). Participants were 55 pediatric oncology patients, aged 3-18 years, who were undergoing routine blood work. Pain ratings were obtained using the Faces Pain Scale-Revised (FPS-R) and conversation during the procedure was audio taped for coding using the Child-Adult Medical Procedure Interaction Scale-Revised (CAMPIS-R). Children’s ratings of pain using the FPS-R were similar in the port (M=2.57/10, standard deviation [SD]=3.46) and peripheral (M=2.56/10, SD=3.24) groups, despite the fact that most children with internal ports were given a topical anesthetic. Similarly, there were no differences between port and peripheral groups in rates of child coping or distress, or parent and nurse observations of child pain. As would be expected, external line access was not associated with pain or distress, even among very young children, suggesting that they appropriately understood the pain rating scale. Results of the transcribed CAMPIS-R data indicate that the influences in adult-child interaction are bidirectional. Support was found for the well-established positive relationship between child distress and adult reassurance and empathy. Implications for intervention and selection of central venous access devices are discussed.

Research abstracts