The aim of this study was to examine whether children experience less fear, distress and pain connected to a routine needle insertion in an intravenous port when subjected to an intervention: blowing soap bubbles or having a heated pillow vs. standard care.
Twenty-eight children, 2–7 years, cared for at a paediatric oncology unit, undergoing a routine needle insertion in an intravenous port were included consecutively. All children were subjected to two needle insertions; at the first they received standard care, and at the second standard care + a randomized intervention. Parents and nurses assessed children's fear, distress and pain on 0–100 mm visual analogue scales.
According to parents’ report, children experienced less fear when subjected to intervention vs. standard care reported by parents (P < 0.001). Children also experienced less fear (P < 0.05) and distress (P < 0.05) when subjected to standard care + blowing soap bubbles vs. standard care (n = 14), and less fear when subjected to standard care + heated pillow vs. standard care (P < 0.05). Nurses’ reports did not show any differences for standard care + intervention vs. standard care.
Blowing soap bubbles or having a heated pillow is more effective than standard care in reducing children's fear and distress in needle procedures, according to parents’ report.