Fear Level in Preschoolers Undergoing Computed Tomography: Affect of Psychological Preparation by Story vs. Normal Preparation

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J Sriboonleart
K Promon
Y Soommart
J Srinakarin

Abstract

Background: Computed tomography (CT scan) is a common radiological practice; however, among pre-school-age children, it can be a fearful experience, so much so that non-cooperation of children may result in failure to get any useable results.  Psychological preparation can be used to reduce the level of fear in children.

Objective: To compare the level of apprehension among preschoolers undergoing CT scan, given psychological preparation vs. the normal clinical explanation.

Design: Quasi-experimental research

Setting: Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University, Thailand

Population and Samples: Data were collected on the responses of 60 children between four to six years of age undergoing CT for the first time.  Two groups (normal and experimental) were formed by a simple random, age matching method.

Intervention: Psychological preparation included being read a story called ‘C.T. the Magic Camera and the Kid’ created by our research team.

Measurements: Data were collected on the fear responses of the children undergoing CT and analyzed by t test.

Results: Subjects in the psychologically-prepared group exhibited significantly (p < 0.05) less apprehension than those in the control group.

Conclusions: The findings suggest some psychological preparation is needed before children undergo CT scan or any other invasive procedure (such as spinal puncture or intravenous fluid administration).

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