INSERTION OF AN IV CATHETER is a commonly performed and painful procedure. The use of cognitive-behavioral interventions (CBIs) may decrease pain by diverting the patient's attention to stimuli other than pain. THIS RANDOMIZED, CONTROLLED TRIAL examined the effect of three CBIs--music, kaleidoscope, and guided imagery--on IV insertion pain in 324 patients. NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT differences in IV insertion pain were found among the treatment and control groups or between choosing versus being assigned a CBI. Insertion attempts were more difficult in women, and insertion difficulty was correlated with pain intensity and pain distress. Pain intensity was related to insertion site and catheter gauge.