Background: Experiencing pain and fear caused by venipuncture in children and its management is challenging. Massage is a safe way to manage pain; however, no evidence was found about its effects on pain and fear of venipuncture in children. This study aimed to determine the effects of massage on pain and fear levels during venipuncture among children aged between 3 to 6 years old.
Methods: This pre-experimental factorial research was performed on 140 children admitted to the surgery ward. The participants were randomized into four groups; the children in group 1 received EMLA cream, the children in group 2 received massage, those in group 3 received both EMLA cream and massage, while those in group 4 (control group) received no method. The pain and fear levels were assessed independently from the perspective of children, mothers, and a nurse. The Wong-Baker Pain Scale and the Children's Fear Scale were applied for evaluating the levels of pain and fear in children, respectively. The data were analyzed by running the chi-square test and ANOVA at the significance level of P < 0.05. This study is presented in line with the CONSORT checklist.
Results: The groups were found to have a significant difference regarding the pain and fear scores in venipuncture (P<0.05). The lowest level of pain and fear perception was reported in the EMLA cream group. The group with massage and the EMLA cream and the massage group showed significantly higher scores compared to the EMLA cream group (P<0.05).
Conclusions: Massage does not beneficially affect children’s pain and fear during venipuncture; consequently, employing this intervention requires more extensive studies.