The Impact of Parental Presence on their Children during Painful Medical Procedures:A Systematic Review

The Impact of Parental Presence on their Children during Painful Medical Procedures:A Systematic Review

Rheel, E. Malfliet, A. Van Ryckeghem, D. M. L. Pas, R. Vervoort, T. Ickmans, K.
Pain Medicine
OBJECTIVE: Whether parental presence during their children's painful medical procedures is advantageous with regard to child's pain-related outcomes is questionable. Research regarding this topic is equivocal and additional questions, such as whether levels of parental involvement may play a role as well, remain to be assessed. The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize and critically appraise the literature regarding the impact of parental presence versus absence during their children's painful medical procedures on the child's pain-related outcomes. METHODS: The review protocol was registered on Prospero (ID CRD42018116614). A systematic search in PubMed, Web of Science, and PsycArticles resulted in 22 eligible studies incorporating 2157 participants. Studies were considered eligible if they included children (<= 18 years old) undergoing a painful medical procedure and compared parental presence and/or involvement with parental absence during the procedure. RESULTS: The children's pain-related outcomes included self-reported pain intensity, self-reported fear, anxiety and distress, observed pain-related behavior, and physiological parameters. Overall, evidence points in the direction of beneficial effects of parental presence versus absence with regard to children's self-reported pain intensity and physiological parameters, whereas mixed findings were recorded for children's self-reported fears, anxiety and distress, and observed pain-related behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: In order to provide clear recommendations on how to involve the parent during the procedure, as well as for which type of children and parents parental presence has the best effects, further research is needed, as indicated in this review.

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Behandling og hjelpetiltak


Psykiske vansker og lidelser


Angst og engstelighet (inkl. både vansker og lidelse)


Biologiske risikofaktorer, sykdommer og symptomer

Somatisk sykdom (inkl. smertetilstander)

Medisinske prosedyrer


Psykososiale hjelpetiltak

Avspenningstiltak (sykehusklovn, avspenning knyttet til medisinske prosedyrer)


Barn i førskolealder (3-5 år)

Barn i skolealder (6-12 år)

Ungdom (13-18 år)

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