Decreasing child distress during needle sticks and maintaining treatment gains over time

B. Pringle, L. Hilley, K. Gelfand, L. M. Dahlquist, M. Switkin, T. Diver, W. Sulc, A. Eskenazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study examined the effectiveness of an intervention for reducing behavioral distress in children during needle sticks. Participants were eight children and their parents. The children received injections or venipunctures for hematological or oncological disease. The distress management intervention included instruction for children to engage in a distraction activity during needle sticks and parent training in coaching their children. The intervention was adapted to clinic and home treatment settings. Results indicated that five children exhibited significantly less distress after treatment when compared with baseline sessions, that treatment gains were maintained at follow-up for three of them, and that child distress was significantly and negatively related to use of the experimental distractor. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Distraction
  • Distress
  • Medical procedures
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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