This study assessed the effectiveness of playing a computer game during venipuncture, compared with low-tech distraction by a nurse” Crevatin et al (2016).
AIM: Needle related procedures can be painful for children and distraction provides ideal pain relief in blood-drawing centres. This study assessed the effectiveness of playing a computer game during venipuncture, compared with low-tech distraction by a nurse.
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METHODS: We conducted this prospective randomised controlled trial at the blood-drawing centre of a tertiary-level children’s hospital in Italy. Half of the 200 children played Angry Birds on a handheld computer while the other half were distracted by a second, specially nurse trained who sang to them, read a book, blew bubbles or played with puppets. Pain was measured using a faces pain scale for children aged 4-7 years and a numeric scale for children aged 8-13 years.
RESULTS: The 200 children had a median age of eight years. Children reported significant pain in 16 cases (16%) in the handheld computer distraction group and in 15 cases (15%) in the nurse-led low-tech distraction group (p = 0.85). The procedural success rate at the first attempt was not different in the two groups.
CONCLUSION: Playing a game on a handheld computer meant that only one in six children reported pain during venipuncture, but it was not superior to being distracted by nurses.
Crevatin, F., Cozzi, G., Braido, E., Bertossa, G., Rizzitelli, P., Lionetti, D., Matassi, D., Calusa, D., Ronfani, L. and Barbi, E. (2016) Handheld computers can help to distract children undergoing painful venipuncture procedures. Acta Paediatrica. April 29th. [Epub ahead of print].
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