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Paediatr Child Health. 2007 Feb;12(2):101-2.

Needle and dread: Is it just a little poke? A call for implementation of evidence-based policies for the management of needle pain in clinical settings.

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Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Centre for Research in Family Health, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia.


The present commentary calls for the implementation of evidence-based policies to manage paediatric needle pain in clinical settings. While there have been fundamental advances in the treatment of needle pain over the past three decades, relevant techniques are often not used in clinical practice. Evidence indicates that needle procedures do hurt, are frequently cited as the most painful experience by children and a subset of children are terrified of them. Pain and distress from needle procedures can and must be addressed because needle procedures are frequently performed on both healthy (eg, immunizations) and ill (eg, bone marrow aspirations, lumbar punctures) children. An essential step in translating research knowledge into practice is the creation of evidence-based policies. Policy statements regarding the management of needle pain must be incorporated at the hospital, clinic and individual office levels to reduce the amount of pain and distress children suffer from needle procedures. Specific suggestions for policies to be incorporated in clinical settings are provided.


Clinical setting; Needle; Paediatric; Pain management; Policy

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