Immunization Pain Reduced Using the Five S's Technique

Swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging, sucking reduce pain and crying time

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the five S's intervention (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking) reduces pain scores and crying time following administration of routine immunizations for 2- and 4-month-old infants, according to a study published online April 16 in Pediatrics.

John W. Harrington, M.D., of the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, and colleagues conducted a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 230 2- and 4-month-old infants attending their regularly scheduled well-child visits. The researchers sought to determine whether physical intervention with the five S's alone or combined with orally administered sucrose would have any analgesic effectiveness during routine immunizations. Infants were assigned to four groups and received 2 mL of water or oral sucrose solution, followed by standard-of-care comfort measures or intervention with the five S's immediately after vaccination. Pain was scored repeatedly up to five minutes post-vaccination.

The researchers found that infants in the five S's and the five S's plus sucrose groups had similar mean pain scores, which were significantly lower than the scores for those who received standard-of-care measures. Similarly low mean scores were seen over time and the same trend was found with crying.

"This study demonstrates that the physical intervention of the five S's resulted in decreased pain scores and decreased crying time among 2- and 4-month-old infants during their routine vaccinations," the authors write. "The five S's appear to be a viable nonpharmacologic option for clinics to implement when providing analgesia during vaccinations."

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