Effectiveness of physical stimulation on injection pain in adults receiving intramuscular injections: a systematic review protocol

JBI Evid Synth. 2021 Feb;19(2):419-425. doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-D-19-00368.


Objective: The objective of this review is to evaluate the effectiveness of physical stimulation on injection pain in adults receiving intramuscular injections.

Introduction: Intramuscular injections are the most commonly used modality for administration of pharmacological treatments. Despite this, pain from intramuscular injections is the most commonly reported side effect. Reducing patients' pain from intramuscular injections is important; however, the challenge is in selecting from the current methods available to alleviate pain, which are varied. The findings of this review may identify the most effective physical stimulation method to reduce the side effect of pain from an intramuscular injection.

Inclusion criteria: This review will consider studies that include adults aged 18 years and over that use physical stimulation interventions during intramuscular injections. Any physical stimulation strategies used during intramuscular injections including devices, skin tapping, manual pressure, massage, pinch, and traction will be considered. Studies that evaluate pain using validated tools such as pain scales will be included.

Methods: The review will undertake to find both published and unpublished studies. The key information sources to be searched are MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Google Scholar, Dissertation Abstracts International, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, and MedNar. Two independent reviewers will conduct a critical appraisal of eligible studies, assess the methodological quality, and extract the data. Studies will, where possible, be pooled in a statistical meta-analysis.

Systematic review registration number: PROSPERO CRD42020168586.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain*
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic