An Art-Light Mosaic Light Distraction for the Pediatric Healthcare Environment

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

In his classic book, Experiencing Architecture, Rasmussen (1959) noted that architects inspired by addressing problems in built environments created buildings with a special spirit: a distinctive stamp. Recent problems in healthcare facilities, specifically those related to reducing stress and anxiety, have inspired designers to create positive, uplifting distractions to redirect a patient's attention from a sterile environment and/or noxious event. In doing so, healthcare facilities have become special environments with a caring spirit.

This study examined a specific aspect of creating a caring environment: determining whether or not a positive distraction, a child's art-light mosaic movie developed by the researcher, would lower pain and distress in children 4, 5, and 6 years old during an immunization procedure. The researcher conducted a randomized controlled study in two locations using a child's self-report pain scale, heart rate, parent/guardian report, and nurse report measures. After collecting and analyzing data from 76 well-participants receiving one to five immunizations, the researcher found no statistically significant difference between the conditions for any of the measures. Thus, the null hypothesis, the art-light mosaic image would not assist in lowering pain and distress in pediatric patients, 4 to 6 years old, during an immunization procedure, was not rejected. From these results, the researcher recommended future studies incorporate training the parent and child on how to use the distraction, combine the distraction with a topical analgesic, provide a clear understanding of pain and distress from the child's point of view, and develop more sensitive self-report measures of pain for children.

positive distraction, healthcare environment, healthcare design, child immunization, pediatric distress