Distraction has been shown to be an effective technique for managing pain in children; however, few investigations have examined the utility of this technique with infants. The goal of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of movie distraction in reducing infants’ immunization distress. Participants were 136 infants (range = 1 to 21 months; M = 7.6 months, SD = 5.0 months) and their parents, all of whom were recruited when presenting for routine vaccinations. The parent-child dyads were randomly assigned to either a Distraction or Typical Care control condition. Infant and adult behaviors were assessed using a visual analog scale and a behavioral observation rating scale. Results indicated parents in the Distraction group engaged in higher rates of distraction than those in the Typical Care group, whereas there was no difference in the behavior of nurses in the Distraction and Typical Care groups. In addition, infants in the Distraction group displayed fewer distress behaviors than infants in the Typical Care group both prior to and during recovery from the injection. Findings suggest that a simple and practical distraction intervention can provide some distress relief to infants during routine injections.
Cohen, L. L., MacLaren, J. E., Fortson, B. L., Friedman, A., DeMore, M., Lim, C. S., Shelton, E., & Gangaram, B. (2006). Randomized clinical trial of distraction for infant immunization pain. Pain, 125(1-2), 165-171. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2006.05.016