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Pain Res Manag. 2011 Sep-Oct;16(5):321-30.

Nonpharmacological management of procedural pain in infants and young children: an abridged Cochrane review.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. rpr@yorku.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acute pain and distress during medical procedures are commonplace for young children.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the efficacy of nonpharmacological interventions for acute procedural pain in children up to three years of age.

METHODS:

Study inclusion criteria were: participants <3 years of age, involved in a randomized controlled or crossover trial, and use of a 'no treatment' control group (51 studies; n=3396). Additional studies meeting all criteria except for study design (eg, use of active control group) were qualitatively described (n=20).

RESULTS:

For every intervention, data were analyzed separately according to age group (preterm-born, term-born neonate and older infant ⁄ young child) and type of pain response (pain reactivity, immediate pain-related regulation). The largest standardized mean differences (SMD) for pain reactivity were as follows: sucking-related interventions (preterm: -0.42 [95% CI -0.68 to -0.15]; neonate -1.45 [CI -2.34 to -0.57]), kangaroo care (preterm -1.12 [95% CI -2.04 to -0.21]), and swaddling ⁄ facilitated tucking (preterm -0.97 [95% CI -1.63 to -0.31]). For immediate pain-related regulation, the largest SMDs were: sucking-related interventions (preterm -0.38 [95% CI -0.59 to -0.17]; neonate -0.90 [CI -1.54 to -0.25]), kangaroo care 0.77 (95% CI -1.50 to -0.03]), swaddling ⁄ facilitated tucking (preterm -0.75 [95% CI -1.14 to -0.36]), and rocking ⁄ holding (neonate -0.75 [95% CI -1.20 to -0.30]). The presence of significant heterogeneity limited confidence in nonsignificant findings for certain other analyses.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although a number of nonpharmacological treatments have sufficient evidence supporting their efficacy with preterm infants and healthy neonates, no treatments had sufficient evidence to support efficacy with healthy older infants ⁄ young children.

Comment in

PMID:
22059204
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3206782
Free PMC Article

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