Non-pharmacological management of infant and young child procedural pain: An abridged Cochrane review
Pillai Riddell, Rebecca
Ahola Kohut, Sara
Din Osmun, Laila
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BACKGROUND: Acute pain and distress during medical procedures are commonplace for young children. OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of nonpharmacological interventions for acute procedural pain in children up to three years of age. METHODS: Study inclusion criteria were: participants <3 years of age, involved in a randomized controlled or crossover trial, and use of a ‘no-treatment’ control group (51 studies; n=3396). Additional studies meeting all criteria except for study design (eg, use of active control group) were qualitatively described (n=20). RESULTS: For every intervention, data were analyzed separately according to age group (preterm-born, term-born neonate and older infant/young child) and type of pain response (pain reactivity, immediate pain-related regulation). The largest standardized mean differences (SMD) for pain reactivity were as follows: sucking-related interventions (preterm: −0.42 [95% CI −0.68 to −0.15]; neonate −1.45 [CI −2.34 to −0.57]), kangaroo care (preterm −1.12 [95% CI −2.04 to −0.21]), and swaddling/facilitated tucking (preterm −0.97 [95% CI −1.63 to −0.31]). For immediate pain-related regulation, the largest SMDs were: sucking-related interventions (preterm −0.38 [95% CI −0.59 to −0.17]; neonate −0.90 [CI −1.54 to −0.25]), kangaroo care 0.77 (95% CI −1.50 to −0.03]), swaddling/facilitated tucking (preterm −0.75 [95% CI −1.14 to −0.36]), and rocking/holding (neonate −0.75 [95% CI −1.20 to −0.30]). The presence of significant heterogeneity limited confidence in nonsignificant findings for certain other analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Although a number of nonpharmacological treatments have sufficient evidence supporting their efficacy with preterm infants and healthy neonates, no treatments had sufficient evidence to support efficacy with healthy older infants/young children.