Effects of Vibration Therapy in Pediatric Immunizations
Arika L. Benjamin, Thomas J. Hendrix, and Jacque L. Woody
A randomized clinical trial of 100 children (52 boys, 48 girls) ages 2 months to 7 years was conducted to evaluate the effect of vibration therapy without cold analgesia on pain. A convenience sample was recruited at two sites: a publicly funded, free immunization clinic and a private group pediatric practice. Participants were randomly assigned to receive vibration therapy via a specialized vibrating device or standard care. All children regardless of intervention group were allowed to be distracted and soothed by the parent. Pain was evaluated using the FLACC score, which two nurses assessed at three points in time: prior to, during, and after the injection(s). Data were analyzed using a two-independent samples-paired t-test. Results show that vibration therapy had no effect on pain scores in the younger age groups studied (2 months <= 1 year, >1 year <= 4 years). In the oldest age group (> 4 to 7 years of age), a heightened pain reading was found in the period from preinjection to post-injection periods (p = 0.045). These results indicate that the addition of vibration therapy (without cold analgesia) to standard soothing techniques is no more effective in reducing immunization pain than standard soothing techniques alone, and thus, is not indicated for use with immunization pain. Recommendations include further evaluation of interventions.