Table 1

Characteristics of randomised controlled trials meeting inclusion criteria

StudyN and populationNumber of injectionsIntervention/dose of sucrose/glucoseOutcomes
Allen et al11285 healthy term infants1, 2 or 3 injections3 groups:Cry duration
Age: 2 weeks to 18 months2.0 ml of 12% sucrose
2.0 ml water, 2 min prior to immunisation
Nil treatment
Barr et al1257 healthy term infants1 injection2 groups:Cry duration during and following completion of injections
Age: 2 and 4 months3 doses at 30 s intervals:
0.25 ml of 50% sucrose
0.25 ml water, 2 min prior to immunisation
Dilli et al13118 infantsEither single or multiple injections3 groups:Cry duration
Age: 6–48 months2.0 ml of 12% sucrose, 2 min prior to procedurePain score: NIPS36
Data for subgroup of infants aged 6–12 months supplied (N=29)Topical anaesthetic Control
Hatfield et al1583 healthy term infants3 injections2 groups:Pain score: UWCH37
Age: 2 and 4 months2.0 ml of 24% sucrose
2.0 ml water, 2 min prior to immunisation
Hatfield1440 healthy term infants3 injections2 groups:Pain score: UWCH37
Age: 2 and 4 months2.0 ml of 24% sucrose
2.0 ml water, 2 min prior to immunisation
Lewindon et al16107 healthy infants2 injections2 groups:Cry duration
Age: 2, 4 and 6 months2.0 ml of 75% sucrosePain score: Oucher40
2.0 ml water, 2 min prior to immunisationParent VAS (0–100)
Lindh et al1770 healthy term infants1 injection2 groups:Cry duration
Age: 3 months1.0 ml of 30% glucose, 2 min prior to injection and EMLACry incidence
Pain score: MBPS39
1.0 ml water, 2 min prior to injection and topical placeboParent and staff VAS (0–10)
Heart rate and HRV
Mörelius et al1898 healthy term infants1 injection4 groups:Cry duration
Age: 3 months2.0 ml of 30% glucoseCry incidence
- with NNSSalivary cortisol
- without NNS
2.0 ml water
- with NNS
- without NNS, 2 min prior to procedure
Mowery1949 healthy term infants of3 injections2 groups:Cry duration
Hispanic origin2.0 ml of 50% sucrosePain score: MBPS39
Age: 2–6 months2.0 ml water, 2 min prior to procedureHeart rate elevation
Poulsen2067 healthy term infants1 injection2 groups:Pain score: NIPS36
Age: 3–9 months2.0 ml of 12% sucrose
2.0 ml water, 2 min prior to procedure
Reis et al22116 healthy term infants4 injections2 groups:Cry duration
Age: 2 monthsCombination of: 10 ml of 25% sucrose, 2 min prior to injections+NNS+parental holdingHeart rate
Injection duration
Standard careVAS (0–100) for parents' preference for future pain management and nurses' score for ease of injection
Ramenghi et al21184 healthy term infants2 injections4 groups:Cry duration
Age: 2, 3 or 4 months2.0 ml of 25% sucrose
2.0 ml of 50% sucrose
2.0 ml of 40% glucose
2.0 ml water, 2 min prior to procedure
Soriano and Gomez23323 healthy term infants1 injection2 groups:Cry duration
Age: 1, 2, 4 or 6 months2.0 ml of 75% sucrose
2.0 ml water, 2 min prior to procedure
Thyr et al24110 healthy term infants1 injection2 groups:Cry duration
Age: 3, 5 and 12 months2.0 ml of 30% glucoseCry intensity score
2.0 ml water, 2 min prior to procedureCry incidence
  • HRV, heart rate variability; MBPS, Modified Behavioural Pain Scale; NIPS, Neonatal Infant Pain Scale; NNS, non-nutritive sucking; UWCH, University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital Pain Scale; VAS, visual analogue scale.