Teaching parents to manage pain during infant immunizations: laying the foundation for better pain management practices

Clin J Pain. 2014 Nov;30(11):987-94. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000051.


Objective: To evaluate knowledge uptake from a parent-directed factsheet about managing pain during infant vaccinations, and the added influence of a pretest.

Materials and methods: Solomon 4-group randomized controlled trial. New mothers hospitalized after the birth of an infant were randomized to 1 of 4 groups: 2 included the intervention (factsheet about pain management) and 2 included the control (information on another topic). A pretest was given to 1 intervention and 1 control group. Following maternal review of allocated information, posttests were administered in all groups. Both control groups received the information after posttesting. A follow-up telephone survey after 2 months measured knowledge retention and utilization of pain management interventions.

Results: A total of 120 mothers participated (July, 2012 to February, 2013); demographics did not differ among groups. The 2 factsheet groups demonstrated more knowledge (P<0.05) about effective pain management (mean without pretest: 5.6 [SD=2.0]; with pretest: 6.9 [1.6]) compared with the 2 control groups (without pretest: 3.2 [2.2]; with pretest: 3.4 [2.5]) immediately after review; and the factsheet and pretest group scored higher than the factsheet only group. In groups with a prefactsheet baseline knowledge test, knowledge was higher at follow-up compared with baseline. Follow-up knowledge and utilization of pain management interventions did not differ among groups.

Conclusions: The factsheet led to acute gains in knowledge and knowledge gains persisted after 2 months. Acutely, knowledge was bolstered by the pretest. These results can be used to guide future research and implementation of the factsheet.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mothers*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Parents
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Vaccination / adverse effects*
  • Vaccination / methods*