Experiencing Support During Needle-Related Medical Procedures: A Hermeneutic Study With Young Children (3–7 Years)

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Abstract

Background:

Needle-related medical procedures (NRMPs) are something that all young children need to undergo at some point. These procedures may involve feelings of fear, pain and anxiety, which can cause problems later in life either when seeking healthcare in general or when seeking care specifically involving needles. More knowledge is needed about supporting children during these procedures.

Aim:

This study aims to explain and understand the meaning of the research phenomenon: support during NRMPs. The lived experiences of the phenomenon are interpreted from the perspective of younger children.

Method:

The analysis uses a lifeworld hermeneutic approach based on participant observations and interviews with children between 3 and 7 years of age who have experienced NRMPs.

Results:

The research phenomenon, support for younger children during NRMPs, is understood through the following themes: being the centre of attention, getting help with distractions, being pampered, becoming involved, entrusting oneself to the safety of adults and being rewarded. A comprehensive understanding is presented wherein younger children experience support from adults during NRMPs in order to establish resources and/or strengthen existing resources.

Conclusions:

The manner in which the child will be guided through the procedure is developed based on the child's reactions. This approach demonstrates that children are actively participating during NRMPs. Supporting younger children during NRMPs consists of guiding them through a shared situation that is mutually beneficial to the child, the parent and the nurse. Play during NRMP is an important tool that enables the support to be perceived as positive.

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