Pain associated with childhood vaccination is currently undertreated, even though there are number of pain-relieving strategies that could be employed. Many health care providers argue, however, that they are currently too pressed for time to implement these strategies.
To determine whether there was enough time available for pain management within each vaccination appointment, researchers at the University of Toronto conducted a prospective naturalistic study at 8 urban outpatient primary care clinics and published their results in the March-April 2012 edition of the Clinical Journal of Pain.
The researchers tracked the waiting time of children in 405 appointments from clinic arrival to first vaccine administered.
Their results showed that the mean wait time until first vaccination was 41.6 minutes, with a range from 7 to 132 minutes. There was a statistically significant difference among the clinics for wait times, which explains the wide range of data. These results suggest that, contrary to the perception of some health care providers, there is adequate time available to implement pain management strategies for children undergoing vaccination.
The researchers note that health care providers and parents should be educated regarding the benefits of pain management interventions and how to put evidence-based strategies into practice.
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