Background: The pain caused by the invasive procedures, such as vaccination, could be associated with mental tension and tissue damage in children. Therefore, one of the priorities of the healthcare providers is to manage this pain. Regarding this, the present study aimed to evaluate the effect of distraction using inflating balloons and watching cartoons on the intensity of the pain induced by diphtheria tetanus and pertussis (DPT) vaccine in school-age children.
Methods: This clinical trial was conducted on the school-age children, who referred to Sayyid Al-Shuhada Healthcare Center in Zahedan, Iran, in 2015. In total, 120 patients were selected through convenience sampling technique. The subjects were randomly divided into three groups of 40 cases. The participants of the first group were encouraged to inflate balloons throughout the vaccination process. On the other hand, the subjects of the second group watched a cartoon started two min before the vaccination and lasting to the end of this procedure. No intervention was carried out for the control group. The pain intensity was measured immediately after the vaccination using the Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability scale (FLACC scale). The data analysis was performed in the SPSS version 22 using the descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVA test.
Results: In this study, the mean pain scores were 1.87±1.30, 1.40±0.87, and 3.22±1.38 in the first, second, and control groups, respectively. The results of the ANOVA test revealed a difference between the study groups regarding the pain intensity (P<0.001); however, this difference was not significant.
Conclusion: According to the findings of this study, two distraction methods of inflating balloon and watching cartoons could effectively decrease the pain induced by DPT vaccine. Therefore, the use of these techniques is recommended to manage the pain in children since they are inexpensive and have no side effects.