CONTACT: BONNIE MCINTOSH
101 Nursing Building
UI College of Nursing
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: April 29, 2002
UI nursing study of children and pain will teach parents distraction techniques
University of Iowa College of Nursing researchers will conduct a four-year,
randomized clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of training parents
to be distraction coaches during their child's medical procedures.
Principal investigator Ann Marie McCarthy, Ph.D., UI associate professor
of nursing, and co-principal investigator Charmaine Kleiber, Ph.D., an advanced
practice nurse with Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics,
received a $2.1 million grant from National Institute of Nursing Research
(NIH) for the study, "Predicting Children's Response to Distraction from
Pain." This is the first study to concurrently examine the interactions
among behavioral, situational, biological and genetic factors that may influence
children's responses to medical procedures.
One of the researchers' hypotheses is that training parents on how to effectively
distract their children during painful procedures will result in children
displaying less distress than when parents have not been trained. While it
is expected that most parents and children will respond positively to the
training program provided, some children and parents may need alternative
interventions to help them cope with painful procedures.
"The results of the research will be used to match child temperament
and behavior and parent anxiety and parenting style with appropriate pain
management techniques," McCarthy said.
McCarthy and Kleiber have collaborated for more than a decade to find better
ways to manage children's pain. Their focus continues to be on children's
response to pain during painful procedures such as I.V. insertion. There is
evidence that children who experience inadequate pain control during medical
procedures may have increased difficulty coping with future procedures. Research
is needed to determine which children would benefit from nonpharmacological
interventions, such as distraction, and under what circumstances.
The study involves multiple sites, bringing together researchers from Children's
Hospital of Iowa, Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines and Cardinal Glennon
Children's Hospital of St. Louis University in Missouri.
The UI College of Nursing is part of the UI health sciences campus and provides
nursing education at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. The
college provides clinical experience and research opportunities that enhance
the educational experience. Students graduate prepared to respond to the needs
of the public and the general health and well-being of the communities they