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Purpose: Immunizations are the single most common painful procedure pediatric patients experience in the healthcare setting. The repeated pain experienced during immunizations potentiate negative, long-term sequelae for the patient. The primary aim of the literature review was to evaluate the effectiveness of distraction techniques for pain reduction during pediatric immunizations.

Designs and Methods: A literature search was completed to review studies evaluating the effectiveness of distraction techniques on pediatric pain scores as measured by the Wong-Baker FACES pain rating scale. A systematic and critical analyses was conducted on the results of seven randomized controlled trials.

Results: The reviewed studies unanimously found that distraction techniques decreased pain scores when compared to the control group of having no intervention. Furthermore, anxiety and distress was found to be decreased in the pediatric patient, their accompanying caregiver, and the healthcare personnel administering the painful procedure.

Conclusions: The literature review provided evidence that distraction techniques are non-invasive, non-pharmacological methods that can be utilized in a variety of settings to reduce pain for the pediatric patient during immunizations. The reduction in pain may prevent long-term negative sequelae from occurring in the patient and enhancing their healthcare experience.

Practice Implications: A reduction in pain and distress for pediatrics during immunizations may diminish long-term effects as seen as a result of repetitive pain, provide better adherence to immunization schedules, and increase compliance with healthcare recommendations.