Visit for the latest Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) updates.
Read the 30 Days to Slow the Spread Guidance - PDF (versión en Español - PDF).

You are here

Evidence-Based Resource Summary

Strength of Evidence: 
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Year Published: 

Psychological Interventions for Needle-Related Procedural Pain and Distress in Children and Adolescents

Description of Resource: 
Psychological interventions like distraction and hypnosis are used to reduce pain and distress during medical procedures involving needles. This systematic review assessed the efficacy of psychological interventions for needle-related procedural pain and distress in children and adolescents. This review identified 39 studies and found that there is strong evidence that distraction and hypnosis are effective. Distraction techniques can often be quite simple, such as reading the child stories, watching television, or talking about something other than the needle. Interventions such as hypnosis may require some teaching by a trained professional. Other psychological treatments, such as explaining what is going to happen before or during the procedure or using virtual reality have been tested. More research is needed to know whether they are effective for reducing children's pain and distress during procedures involving needles.

Evidence-Based Resource Details

help Learn more about EBR criteria
Developed By: 
Cochrane Review
Developer Type: 
Non-Federal Government
Healthy People 2020 Topic Area(s): 
Immunization and Infectious Diseases
Healthy People 2020 Objectives: 
Resource Type: 
Systematic Review
Uman LS, Birnie KA, Noel M, Parker JA, Chambers CT, McGrath PJ, Kisely SR. Psychological interventions for needle-related procedural pain and distress in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2018 Jan 23];(10). Art. No.: CD005179. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005179.pub3. Available from: