Background and aims Provision of analgesia for painful needle procedures in children is still often inadequate despite national and international evidence-based guidelines. Untreated pain has negative consequences for children both physically and emotionally. Parental anxiety regarding procedural pain experienced by their children and the need for more information is also well documented in the literature.
We aim to survey attitudes of paediatric staff on educating parents about analgesia options for needle procedures and knowledge of negative consequences caused by painful procedures performed without analgesia.
Method Randomly selected paediatric doctors and nurses in various paediatric departments were shown either a video podcast or youtube clip, which were created as educational tools for parents to provide them with information on analgesia options for painful needle procedures, and then asked to complete questionnaires. The video podcast and/or youtube clip were shown on mobile devices.
Results A total of 86 questionnaire were completed. 43–52% agreed (38–45% strongly agreed) that parents should be educated on pain management for needle procedures and that it is an important issue. 54% agreed (28% strongly agreed) that educating parents will improve care for children. 55% were never asked by parents about analgesia. GPs and Hospitals as providers for information were mentioned most frequently. Posters and pamphlets were thought to be ideal means to inform parents. The level of ‘full knowledge’ about analgesia management options among paediatric doctors and nurses increased from 44% to 70% after watching the video podcast and/or youtube clip. 30% ticked neutral, 14% unlikely and 9% unlikely that untreated pain can lead to the development of needle phobia. 25% ticked neutral, 20% unlikely and 5% very unlikely that it can lead to immunisation non-compliance.
Conclusion We demonstrated that paediatric staff have an overwhelmingly positive attitude to introduce parent education on how to make needle procedures a less painful experience for children. A significant proportion of surveyed paediatric staff, however, seem unaware that untreated pain can have significant negative consequences for the wellbeing of children. The burden of pain and its consequences on children and their families has to be reduced by continuing to educate healthcare staff combined with educating parents.