Tags: needle | pain | sticks | look

To Avoid Needle Pain, Look Away

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 02:24 PM


Sometimes, the simplest solution truly is the best. The latest evidence: New research has found the standard advice health-care professionals give needle-phobic patients when administering shots or drawing blood -- “Don’t look and it won’t hurt” – actually does reduce pain.
A team of German investigators, writing in the scientific journal Pain, found patients who watched needle pricks reported more pain than those who didn't. Researchers concluded a patient’s past experience with a needle stick may contribute to a greater sense of pain during an injection.
"Throughout our lives, we repeatedly experience that needles cause pain when pricking our skin, but situational expectations, like information given by the clinician prior to an injection, may also influence how viewing needle pricks affects pain," said researcher Marion Höfle, with the Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.
For the study, researchers had a group of participants watch videos showing a needle pricking a hand, a Q-tip touching a hand, or a hand alone, while they received either painful or non-painful electrical jolts to their own hands. The videos were presented in such a way that participants believed the hand they were viewing on the screen was their own.
Participants reported more intense and unpleasant pain when they viewed a needle pricking a hand than when they saw a Q-tip touching a hand or a hand alone.
Researchers said the findings indicate painful past experiences with shots enhance discomfort when viewing needle pricks. They also suggest expectations may have a greater influence on the intensity of pain a patient feels than the actual physical sensation of the experience.
"Clinicians may be advised to provide information that reduces a patient's expectation about the strength of forthcoming pain prior to an injection," Höfle said. She added: "We've provided empirical evidence in favor of the common advice not to look at the needle prick when receiving an injection."


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Patients who see needles pricking a hand report feeling more intense pain than those who don't.
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2012-24-16
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 02:24 PM
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