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Teddy and I Get a Check-Up: A Pilot Educational Intervention Teaching Children Coping Strategies for Managing Procedure-Related Pain and Fear
Background: Pediatric medical information provision literature focuses on hospitalization and surgical procedures, but children would also benefit from an educational programregardingmore commonly experiencedmedical procedures (e.g., needles, general check-up). Objective: To determine whether an evidence-based educational program reduced children's ratings of fear of and expected pain from medical stimuli and increased their knowledge of procedural coping strategies. Methods: An educational, interactive, developmentally appropriate Teddy BearClinic Tour was developed and delivered at a veterinary clinic.During this tour, 71 5-10-year-old children (Mage = 6.62 years, SD = 1.19) were taught about medical equipment, procedures, and coping strategies through modelling and rehearsal. In a single-group, pretest posttest design, participants reported their fear of and expected pain from medical and nonmedical stimuli. Children were also asked to report strategies they would use to cope with procedural fear. Results: Children's ratings for expected pain during a needle procedure were reduced following the intervention. No significant change occurred in children's fear of needles. Children reported more intervention-taught coping strategies at Time 2. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that an evidence-based, interactive educational program can reduce young children's expectations of needle pain and may help teach them procedural coping strategies.
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