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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2016, Article ID 4383967, 12 pages
Research Article

Teddy and I Get a Check-Up: A Pilot Educational Intervention Teaching Children Coping Strategies for Managing Procedure-Related Pain and Fear

1Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1
2Children’s Health Research Institute, 800 Commissioners Road East, London, ON, Canada N6C 2V5
3Department of Paediatrics, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, 800 Commissioners Road East, London, ON, Canada N6C 2V5

Received 16 March 2015; Accepted 24 July 2015

Copyright © 2016 Jessica S. Dalley and C. Meghan McMurtry. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Pediatric medical information provision literature focuses on hospitalization and surgical procedures, but children would also benefit from an educational program regarding more commonly experienced medical procedures (e.g., needles, general check-up). Objective. To determine whether an evidence-based educational program reduced children’s ratings of fear of and expected pain from medical stimuli and increased their knowledge of procedural coping strategies. Methods. An educational, interactive, developmentally appropriate Teddy Bear Clinic Tour was developed and delivered at a veterinary clinic. During this tour, 71 5–10-year-old children ( years, ) were taught about medical equipment, procedures, and coping strategies through modelling and rehearsal. In a single-group, pretest posttest design, participants reported their fear of and expected pain from medical and nonmedical stimuli. Children were also asked to report strategies they would use to cope with procedural fear. Results. Children’s ratings for expected pain during a needle procedure were reduced following the intervention. No significant change occurred in children’s fear of needles. Children reported more intervention-taught coping strategies at Time 2. Conclusions. The results of this study suggest that an evidence-based, interactive educational program can reduce young children’s expectations of needle pain and may help teach them procedural coping strategies.