February 2, 2010
by Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC, MS-PREP student and PREP-AIRED blog moderator
Forcing a cough while receiving an immunization appears to decrease perceived pain a study published in the February 2010 issue of Pediatrics suggested. Dustin Wallace, PhD, one of the study authors states, “Pediatric immunizations are the most common painful procedures occurring in pediatric medical settings. Although a number of strategies are available to help reduce immunization pain, they often are not used because of time, effort, or cost associated with use.”
The goal of the study was to assess the efficacy of a “cough trick” technique on self-reported pain of children receiving routine pediatric immunizations. The “cough trick” technique consisted of a “warm-up” cough of moderate force, followed by a second cough at the time of needle puncture. Self-reported pain was decreased in the experimental group versus the control group. Limitations of the study included small sample size, refusal of some children to comply with intervention, and use of visual analog pain scale which has not be validated for use in young children.
“Belief in the value of pain management is relevant not only for patients but also for staff members,” the study authors conclude. “A significant barrier to the clinical implementation of any pain management strategy may be the perception of some that the pain associated with pediatric immunizations is not worth treating. In this study, however, nurses were observed to use a variety of strategies in the control condition to help children manage the pain, which suggests that the nurses were interested in helping to reduce immunization pain.”
To read more about this study, <a href="click here