The purpose of this study was to compare two brief, inexpensive distraction techniques for children receiving immunizations during a county-sponsored immunization clinic. Preschool children (n = 80) were assigned to a party blower intervention, a pinwheel intervention, or a control group. Nurses were instructed to use "standard instructions" for the control group, and to simply provide the distracter and encourage use, but not to spend time trying to train the child or force them to use it, for the other groups. Results of planned comparisons indicated significant party blower results in the children's ratings of reduced distress (P < .01) and the parents' ratings of having to hold their child less strongly (P = .04), and showed it to be more distracting than the pinwheel (P < .02). The overall pattern of results on all rating scales supports the efficacy of using a party blower for reducing children's immunization distress, with minimal staff training and no procedural delay.
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