Aim. To assess the effect of distraction (looking through kaleidoscopes) to reduce perceived pain, during venipuncture in healthy school-age children.
Background. Distraction has been noted to be an effective method to help children cope with painful procedures. In the studies carried out, although it was found out that distraction made with different distracters reduced the pain of venipuncture, there is only one study confirming analgesic effect of distracters.
Design. The study was carried out as an intervention–control group design.
Method. Children (n = 206), in whom venipuncture was applied in a laboratory for examination between the dates January–September 2006, were included in the study. The data were obtained by a form determining introductory features of the children and Wong–Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale and Visual Analogue Scale evaluating the pain. Descriptive statistics was used in the assessment of the data and t-test was used in comparisons of dependent-independent groups.
Results. Pain levels of the children according to both scales in intervention group were lower than those of control group. But, it was detected that the distinction between score averages of intervention and control group of Wong–Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale, not Visual Analogue Scale, was statistically significant (p < 0·001).
Conclusion. It was detected that the distraction made with kaleidoscope effectively reduced the pain related to venipuncture in healthy school children and that some features of the children influenced the perception of pain.
Relevance to clinical practice. Distraction with kaleidoscope is a method, which the nurse will be able to use for venipuncture to obtain optimal pain control. In addition, it is important for a nurse to know some features about the children for a pain free and positive experience.