Self -selected distraction for acute procedural pain in adolescents: An intervention feasibility study

2004 2004

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Purpose. This feasibility study evaluated all phases of the planned main study. The study tested the effect of self-selected distraction on acute pain perception in adolescents undergoing allergy skin testing. Distraction is a cognitive-behavioral nonpharmacologic nursing intervention used to divert attention from painful stimuli, which is supported by the gate control theory and distraction framework. A developmental model of adolescence provided a framework for testing self-selected distraction with adolescents for whom choice and control are important developmental concerns.

Specific aims. What is the effect of distraction on acute procedural pain perception in adolescents? Specifically, what is the effect of self-selected distraction, rather than nurse-selected distraction, on acute procedural pain perception? What is the relationship between level of engagement with the distraction and perception of pain? How does anxiety interact with the effect of distraction on pain perception?

Method. The study utilized a post-test, experimental design with random assignment to three groups: self-selected distraction, nurse-selected distraction, and usual care. Adolescents in the self-selected group chose a videotape, music CD, or book-on-cassette from a researcher-developed media library. The sample included 32 adolescents ages 11 to 17 years. Pain perception was measured by the Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool and the FACES pain scale. Investigator-developed pre- and post-allergy testing questionnaires measured demographic data, “needle” anxiety, engagement in the distraction, and perceived effectiveness of distraction. Pre-testing anxiety was measured by the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory.

Results. The feasibility study piloted the analysis planned for the main study. No statistically significant differences were found among the three groups on pain perception. An unanticipated finding resulted in a trend toward the highest pain ratings for the self-selected distraction group during the more painful allergy testing phase. Greater level of engagement in the distraction was related to lower pain ratings. Higher levels of anxiety were correlated with higher pain ratings.

Implications. The planned main study was not conducted based on the results of the feasibility study. The small effect size increased the proposed sample size. Matching coping style with choice of nonpharmacologic interventions is recommended for future research.

Indexing (details)

Public health;
Feasibility studies;
Pain management
0569: Nursing
0573: Public health
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Acute pain; Adolescents; Allergies; Procedural pain; Self-selected distraction
Self -selected distraction for acute procedural pain in adolescents: An intervention feasibility study
Jeffs, Debra A.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 65/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780496132423, 0496132423
Fain, James A.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.