Investigation of anxiety and a cognitive-behavioural intervenion [i.e. intervention] to reduce anxiety in chronically ill children undergoing venepunctures.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Twenty two chronically ill children-aged between three and ten participated in either a cognitive-behavioural package, or a placebo play condition, to reduce their anxiety associated with venepunctures. Behavioural, physiological and self reported anxiety measures were taken. The package included information, breathing, positive self talk statements, and modelling and behavioural practice. All children except those aged three to six, in the treatment group, had low anxiety throughout. The treatment did not reduce anxiety in these young children, but other factors such as parental presence, lack of motivation or poor memory, shortage of time, interfering existing coping mechanisms could have been responsible. Age had the greatest impact on anxiety, with younger children being more anxious overall. Parents were administered the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and they were found to have anxiety levels similar to a general population sample. Their anxiety showed no relationship to their child's anxiety. Parents discipline methods for anxiety provoking situations were assessed by the Child Development Questionnaire. Modelling or reassurance was the most common method, followed by reinforcement of dependency. Discipline methods showed no relationship to the anxiety of the child.