Procedural Pain

Procedural Pain

Procedures carried out in acute care settings, such as emergency departments (EDs), are among the most common sources of acute pain experienced by children. Such procedures may include intravenous insertions (IVs), venipuncture, and wound irrigation and repair. Inadequately managed procedural pain can cause negative short-term and long-term implications for children, ranging from anxiety to aversion to healthcare. Parents have repeatedly expressed that they do not have the necessary tools to comfort or distract their child during uncomfortable medical procedures. As such, the purpose of this study was to work with parents to develop and evaluate two digital tools for pediatric procedural pain.


A whiteboard animation video and interactive infographic were developed following a systematic review and interview with parents. Prototypes were tested in five ED waiting rooms in two Canadian provinces. Sites included those in urban, rural, and remote settings. Overall, parents rated the tools highly, suggesting that engaging with parents to develop arts-based digital tools is a highly effective method in ensuring that parents can understand and utilize complex health information. 


The ECHO research program is focused on improving health outcomes for children with acute health conditions through the application of the best available evidence — a process known as knowledge translation (KT).

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Physical treatments can include physiotherapy, prescribed exercise plans, strengthening exercises, massage, and more. 

Psychological treatments can include counselling or talk therapy, supportive therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, mediation, and more. They can be provided on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting.