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Topic 2: Helping Children and Parents Manage Anxiety during Pediatric Procedures

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Why This Article is Relevant or Important:
For pediatric trauma patients, anxiety during physical examination and procedures increases the risk of psychological sequelae such as posttraumatic stress and can impede clinical care.

Brief Review
This 10-min video (and accompanying brief text summary) from NEJM demonstrates specific skills for interacting with pediatric patients and their parents / caretakers to reduce anxiety, optimize accurate assessment, and enlist the child’s cooperation with necessary procedures. Suggested practices are well-grounded in the research literature and the knowledge base on child development, and illustrated with practical examples. This could be a great introduction to these skills for trainees new to pediatric care or for providers in non-pediatric-specialized settings who have fewer opportunities to practice interactions with pediatric patients, and it may be a useful review even for experienced pediatric trauma providers.

Title, Authors, Abstract
Krauss BS, Krauss BA, Green SM. (2016). VIDEOS IN CLINICAL MEDICINE. Managing Procedural Anxiety in Children. New England Journal of Medicine, 374(16):e19. PMID: 27096598

No abstract available – Overview from text summary:
"When children need medical care, the situation can be stressful for both the parent and the child. Pain, fear, and unfamiliar surroundings can lead to a high level of anxiety, which may make accurate assessment and treatment challenging. When anxiety is alleviated, children are more likely to engage with clinicians and follow instructions, which makes it easier for the clinician to perform the procedure or physical examination and to obtain accurate and complete diagnostic information. This video describes and interprets the signs of acute anxiety in children and demonstrates approaches to interacting with children that minimize anxiety and maximize cooperation." - Krauss et al. 2016, p. e19(1).