Randomized clinical trial of musical distraction with and without headphones for adolescents’ immunization pain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Distraction has shown to be a helpful pain intervention for children; however, few investigations have studied the effectiveness of this method with adolescents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of an easy and practical musical distraction in reducing adolescents' immunization pain. Furthermore, to examine whether musical distraction techniques (with or without headphones) used influenced the pain outcome. Hundred and eighteen 14-year-old adolescents, scheduled for polio immunization, participated. Adolescents were randomly assigned to one of three research groups; musical distraction with headphones (n=38), musical distraction without headphones (n=41) and standard care control (n=39). Results showed adolescents receiving musical distraction were less likely to report pain compared to the control group, controlling for covariates. Comparing musical distraction techniques, eliminating headphone emerged as a significant predictor of no pain. Results suggest that an easy and practical musical distraction intervention, implemented without headphones, can give some pain relief to adolescents during routine vaccination.


External organisations
  • University of Iceland
  • National University Hospital of Iceland
  • Dalhousie University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1111/j.1471-6712.2010.00784.x
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes