Education Linked to Pain-Reducing Steps at Pediatrician

Hour-long intervention teaches doctors ways to make childhood immunizations less unpleasant

TUESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- An hour-long teaching session in pediatric offices on reducing immunization pain is associated with increased use of pain-reducing strategies, according to research published online Nov. 15 in Pediatrics.

Neil L. Schechter, M.D., of the Children's Hospital Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 13 practices that received a teaching session on reducing immunization pain. Parents of recently immunized children were interviewed before the intervention and others were interviewed one and six months after the intervention.

The researchers found that, at one month, parents were more likely to report encountering pain-reducing strategies, including giving the child sucrose or using a ShotBlocker device. Rates for most findings stayed significantly higher at six months compared to baseline. At six-months, clinicians also revealed that they more often used longer needles, sucrose, pinwheels for distraction, ShotBlockers, and focused breathing.

"In this study, a single teaching visit to the offices of pediatric practitioners in our community that focused on reduction of injection pain had demonstrable impact on practice behaviors up to six months after its occurrence. This strategy, along with others, should be considered as part of an overall plan to improve health care quality for children during their medical encounters in office settings," the authors write.

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