Does parental anxiety affect children’s perception of pain during intravenous cannulation?
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Does parental anxiety affect children’s perception of pain during intravenous cannulation?

Sushma Oommen Associate professor, paediatric nursing, KDA Nursing College, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai, India
Asha Shetty Professor-cum-principal, College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneshwar, India

Background Pain associated with invasive medical procedures is a significant cause of anxiety for parents. This may increase children’s anxiety, pain and fear.

Aim To determine the anxiety perceived by parents of children undergoing intravenous cannulation and the influence of parental anxiety on the intensity of pain experienced, and to explore the association between selected variables and anxiety perceived by parents.

Method A descriptive correlational approach was adopted and a purposive sample of 48 children and their parents was selected. The pilot study was conducted in the children’s wards of a selected hospital in Mumbai, India, between August 2017 and January 2018. Parental anxiety was assessed using the short version of the Depression and Anxiety Stress Scales. Pain experienced by children was assessed using the Faces Pain Scale-Revised.

Results Mild anxiety was experienced by 6% (n=6) of parents, while 52% (n=25) had moderate to extreme anxiety. More than one third of the children (35%, n=17) reported moderate pain and 31% (n=15) reported severe pain. A positive correlation was found between pain and parental anxiety and between parental anxiety and age and birth order.

Conclusion Parental anxiety influences the perception of pain in children. Parents should be made aware of how their anxiety can affect children’s pain experiences during medical procedures and take measures to reduce anxiety, such as relaxation, distraction and deep breathing. Children’s nurses can help parents manage preprocedural anxiety to reduce the traumatic effect on children.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2019.e1187

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

sushma.oommen@gmail.com

Conflict of interest

None declared

Oommen S, Shetty A (2019) Does parental anxiety affect children’s perception of pain during intravenous cannulation? Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2019.e1187

Published online: 28 October 2019

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