City Research Online

Understanding needle-related distress in children with cystic fibrosis

Ayers, S., Muller, I., Mahoney, L. & Seddon, P. (2011). Understanding needle-related distress in children with cystic fibrosis. British Journal of Health Psychology, 16(2), pp. 329-343. doi: 10.1348/135910710X506895


Objective. To explore the nature and management of needle-related distress in children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Design. Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews.

Methods. Fourteen child–parent dyads took part. Children (5 male; 9 female) had a mean age of 12.4 years (range 7–17) and were mostly diagnosed with CF at birth (N= 11). Frequency of needle procedures ranged from once to six times a year. Parents (3 male; 11 female) had a mean age of 41.5 years and were from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Results. Most participants identified previous needle experiences and pain as related to their needle anxiety. Over half of parents and children considered ‘taking control’ to be the optimum coping strategy. The majority of parents and children thought inhaled nitrous oxide gas during needle procedures was helpful in managing needle-related distress. Parent and staff influences on needle-related distress are also examined.

Conclusions. Needle-related distress in children with CF has a substantial impact on children and their parents, and may lead to management problems and treatment refusal. Psychological and pharmacological interventions could reduce distress and aid management.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
Download (278kB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login