Our favorite blogging psychiatrist tipped us off to this cutting-edge research — the University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center shows that using needles with colorful drawings significantly reduces the level of stress in patients:
A fear of needles, syringe procedures, intravenous therapy and medical devices is given the overall term of needle phobia.The UNM study focused on the specific psychological components of stress – aversion, fear and anxiety – induced by exposures to needles and medical devices. Some 80 percent of the subjects experienced moderate to severe aversion, 63 percent suffered moderate and to severe fear and 62 percent showed moderate to severe anxiety on exposure to conventional syringes.
Using decorated syringes resulted in significant stress reduction, and reduced aversion by 68 percent, fear by 53 percent and anxiety by 53 percent. Significant reductions were also found when IV bags and scalpels were decorated.
Researcher Wilmer L. Sibbitt, Jr., M.D., Professor, Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, and Neurology at the UNM School of Medicine, said it is likely that decorating a medical device is a neurophysiologic intervention, resulting in stimulation of brain areas not usually associated with fear, anxiety and aversion.
There you have it! A neurophysiologic explanation. We look forward to applying this thinking to its logical conclusion: surgeons with funny hats, emergency rooms with carnival music, and claustrophobic MRI scanners with pretty, pretty lights.
The press release…