IMPACT OF DISTRACTION THERAPY ON PAIN MANAGEMENT AMONG CHILDREN WITH CANCER
Keywords:Pain, impact, distraction therapy, children, cancer
Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it is useful and can be a warning of danger, injury, or illness. Children are sometimes too young, too sick or too afraid to say how much pain they have. At these times, parents are the best judges of their children’s pain. Parents know more about comforting their own children than anyone else. The very rare children who cannot feel pain often cause themselves serious harm. However, some pain, such as pain from surgery or from a needle, is not a warning. Untreated pain causes anxiety, depression, irritability and exhaustion. Pain may cause children to act in “babyish” ways. Pain causes changes in the brain that make future pain worse. Pain can slow healing, disrupt treatment and may cause medical problems. Pain that is not controlled makes children afraid. When a child or young person shows discomfort by crying or shouting, it is not only distressing for them, but also parents and caregivers, as well as the staff attempting treatment. Children and young people can be helped through painful or difficult procedures using distraction therapy.
Distraction means shifting or moving one’s attention away. It does not mean that the pain is no longer there. It just means that we use our brain to focus the attention onto something else. We can put our pain in the background and focus instead on playing games, counting, using breathing techniques and many other activities. One of the things that you can do to limit the amount of time you spend worrying about or being afraid of pain, is to use distraction.
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