Effects of parental presence during children's venipuncture

Acad Emerg Med. 1996 Jan;3(1):58-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.1996.tb03305.x.


Objective: To determine whether parental presence during venipuncture (VP) altered self-reported distress of the child, the parent, or the health professional (HP) performing VP.

Methods: During nine consecutive months, 130 nonconsecutive 8-18-year-old children having VP in an urban pediatric ED were prospectively randomized into two groups of 65 patients each. Before VP, every child, parent, and HP completed a questionnaire developed to measure epidemiologic variables believed to influence distress during VP. The patients were randomized to have either a parent present or both parents absent during VP. The patients, the parents, and the HPs privately self-reported their distress during VP on a visual analog scale (VAS). Statistical significance was determined by the Mann-Whitney U (rank-sum) test.

Results: In the parent-present group, distress scores were lower for the parent (p < 0.01) and for the child (p < 0.04) than they were in the parents-absent group. The HP performing VP had no difference in distress scores with and without parental presence (p < 0.55).

Conclusions: Parents and children having VP have less distress with parental presence. Health professional distress is not affected by parental presence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Specimen Collection*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Prospective Studies