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1.  Kangaroo mother care diminishes pain from heel lance in very preterm neonates: A crossover trial 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:13.
Skin-to-skin contact, or kangaroo mother care (KMC) has been shown to be efficacious in diminishing pain response to heel lance in full term and moderately preterm neonates. The purpose of this study was to determine if KMC would also be efficacious in very preterm neonates.
Preterm neonates (n = 61) between 28 0/7 and 31 6/7 weeks gestational age in three Level III NICU's in Canada comprised the sample. A single-blind randomized crossover design was employed. In the experimental condition, the infant was held in KMC for 15 minutes prior to and throughout heel lance procedure. In the control condition, the infant was in prone position swaddled in a blanket in the incubator. The primary outcome was the Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP), which is comprised of three facial actions, maximum heart rate, minimum oxygen saturation levels from baseline in 30-second blocks from heel lance. The secondary outcome was time to recover, defined as heart rate return to baseline. Continuous video, heart rate and oxygen saturation monitoring were recorded with event markers during the procedure and were subsequently analyzed. Repeated measures analysis-of-variance was employed to generate results.
PIPP scores at 90 seconds post lance were significantly lower in the KMC condition (8.871 (95%CI 7.852–9.889) versus 10.677 (95%CI 9.563–11.792) p < .001) and non-significant mean differences ranging from 1.2 to1.8. favoring KMC condition at 30, 60 and 120 seconds. Time to recovery was significantly shorter, by a minute(123 seconds (95%CI 103–142) versus 193 seconds (95%CI 158–227). Facial actions were highly significantly lower across all points in time reaching a two-fold difference by 120 seconds post-lance and heart rate was significantly lower across the first 90 seconds in the KMC condition.
Very preterm neonates appear to have endogenous mechanisms elicited through skin-to-skin maternal contact that decrease pain response, but not as powerfully as in older preterm neonates. The shorter recovery time in KMC is clinically important in helping maintain homeostasis.
Trial Registration
(Current Controlled Trials) ISRCTN63551708
PMCID: PMC2383886  PMID: 18435837
2.  The role of peer communication in the socialization of adolescents' pain experiences: a qualitative investigation 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:2.
Recurrent pain is a common complaint among adolescents. Children learn to resolve or cope with pain largely through family dynamics, particularly maternal influences. By adolescence, young people possess an array of pain behaviors, the culmination of multiple opportunities for modeling and reinforcement of attitudes and beliefs about pain. Adolescence is a time of increased autonomy characterized by, among other complex factors, significant increases in peer influence. Although peers are influential in health-risk behavior, little is known how peers impact adolescents' pain experience. The present study explored the role of peers in adolescents' attitudes toward pain, pain behaviors and over-the-counter analgesics.
Sixty-minute focus groups were conducted with a sample 24 junior high school students from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (11 male: mean age = 13.45 years, range = 12–15 years; 13 female: mean age = 13.31 years, range = 12–15 years). Participants were randomly assigned to one of five same-gender focus groups designed to explore a wide breadth and depth of information. Sessions were run until theoretical data saturation. Textual data, from transcribed audiotapes, were analyzed with the constant comparative method.
Peer influences were apparent in how adolescents communicate about pain and how those communications effect pain expression. Overt pain responses to injury were primarily contextual and depended on perceived threats to peer-time and pain severity. Adolescents were intolerant of peers' pain behaviors when the cause was perceived as not severe. These attitudes impacted how adolescents responded to their own pain; males were careful not to express embarrassing pain in front of peers, females felt no restrictions on pain talk or pain expression. Evidence for peer influence on attitudes toward OTC analgesics was apparent in perceptions of over-use and ease of access. Findings are discussed within the context of social information-processing and gender role expectations.
Little research has addressed how young people experience pain within the context of the psychosocial influences that dominate during adolescence. The findings provide some insight into the role of peer influences via verbal and non-verbal communication, in adolescents' pain experience. This exploratory study is a necessary first step in understanding the socialization of adolescents' pain experiences.
PMCID: PMC2254410  PMID: 18190716
3.  Healthcare professionals' perceptions of pain in infants at risk for neurological impairment 
BMC Pediatrics  2004;4:23.
To determine whether healthcare professionals perceive the pain of infants differently due to their understanding of that infant's level of risk for neurological impairment.
Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU's) at two tertiary pediatric centers. Ninety-five healthcare professionals who practice in the NICU (50 nurses, 19 physicians, 17 respiratory therapists, 9 other) participated. They rated the pain (0–10 scale and 0–6 Faces Pain Scale), distress (0–10), effectiveness of cuddling to relieve pain (0–10) and time to calm without intervention (seconds) for nine video clips of neonates receiving a heel stick. Prior to each rating, they were provided with descriptions that suggested the infant had mild, moderate or severe risk for neurological impairment. Ratings were examined as a function of the level of risk described.
Professionals' ratings of pain, distress, and time to calm did not vary significantly with level of risk, but ratings of the effectiveness of cuddling were significantly lower as risk increased [F (2,93) = 4.4, p = .02]. No differences in ratings were found due to participants' age, gender or site of study. Physicians' ratings were significantly lower than nurses' across ratings.
Professionals provided with visual information regarding an infants' pain during a procedure did not display the belief that infants' level of risk for neurological impairment affected their pain experience. Professionals' estimates of the effectiveness of a nonpharmacological intervention did differ due to level of risk.
PMCID: PMC534106  PMID: 15541179

Results 1-3 (3)