Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The present study evaluated the relationship between adult behaviors and child behaviors, the effectiveness of distraction as coached by parents in reducing distress during routine immunizations, and two cost-effective means of teaching distraction techniques to parents. Ninety-seven children between the ages of 18 months and 72 months and their parents were recruited and were randomly assigned to one of three groups. (1) Routine Group—parents received no education regarding distraction and were instructed to aid children as usual (n=32); (2) Distraction Taught by Instructional Handout Group—parents received education about distraction via an instructional handout and were instructed to use distraction with their child during the immunization (n=33); and (3) Distraction Taught by Video Modeling Group—parents received education about distraction via an 8-minute video demonstrating different distraction techniques and were instructed to use distraction with their child during the immunization (n=32). Based on previous findings, it was hypothesized that adult behavior would be significantly related to child behavior; distraction as coached by adults would be significant in reducing child distress; and differing formats of educating parents regarding distraction techniques would be significantly better in reducing child distress, increasing parent coping-promoting behaviors and decreasing parent distress-promoting behaviors than the group receiving no distraction education. Observational measures and subjective ratings were used to assess the following dependent variables: children's coping and distress behavior, parent and nurse distress-promoting behavior, and parent and nurse coping-promoting behavior. Results indicate that parent behavior is significantly related to child behavior, while nurse behavior has limited impact on child behavior. Distraction as coached by parents significantly reduced child distress. Finally, distraction as taught by an informational handout or video modeling was no more successful in reducing child distress, increasing parent's use of distraction techniques, and decreasing parent's use of behaviors that induce distress in their children, than the group receiving no distraction education. Overall, the findings from this study lend support to the idea that parents need to be the target of interventions for procedural pain and differing cost-effective means of teaching distraction to parents need to be incorporated in future research endeavors.
Myrvik, Matthew P., "A Behavioral Intervention Targeting A Reduction In Child Distress During A Routine Immunization" (2008). Theses and Dissertations. 719.