Alteration of memory in the reduction of children's distress during repeated aversive medical procedures

Edith Chen*, Lonnie K. Zeltzer, Michelle G. Craske, Ernest R. Katz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study sought to reduce children's distress during aversive medical procedures using a brief, cost-effective intervention aimed at reframing memory. Fifty children diagnosed with leukemia (25 treatment, 25 attention control, aged 3-18) were observed as they underwent 3 consecutive lumbar punctures (LPs; baseline, postintervention, and follow-up). Self- report, physiological, and observable distress measures were collected before and after each LP. At posttreatment, children in the intervention group showed reductions in anticipatory physiological and self-report ratings relative to the control group. At follow-up, these effects generalized to reductions in procedural distress. These results suggest that (a) a simple memory-based intervention is efficacious at reducing children's distress and (b) benefits from this intervention are maintained over 1 week even without continued intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-490
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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