Therapeutic toy helps children coping with fear and venous puncture-related pain

By Ravini dos Santos Fernandes Vieira dos Santos, Assistant professor at Nursing College of Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

The article “Children’s perception of venipuncture through therapeutic toy” published in the journal Acta Paulista de Enfermagem (vol. 33, no. 1), reports the use of toy as part of treatment and presents advantages of this approach such as improvement of understanding and adherence of children when undergoing venipuncture, as well as reduction of stress associated with this procedure (JANSSEN; SANTOS; FAVERO, 2010; JESUS et al., 2010). Results reported are relevant for nursing care of hospitalized children because children often feel scary about health care professionals, especially, for the association they make between the presence of health care professionals with pain (JESUS et al., 2010; MAIA; RIBEIRO; BORBA, 2011). Toys allow children to play and interact with health professionals and also to begin to have a different point of view (MAIA; RIBEIRO; BORBA, 2011).

Source: The authors.

A qualitative study was conducted for six months by researchers from a public university in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The study included children aged 4 to 11 years admitted to the Hospital Universitário Pedro Ernesto (HUPE), and who underwent venous puncture. Before the procedure, through dramatization, children were presented to a doll and materials related to venous puncture. They were invited to play whereas an explanation on how the procedure works was given to them. Next, these children were asked to try themselves a “venous puncture” in the doll as the same time that the research highlighted the importance of the procedure to improve their health status. Following this, each child was interviewed about their views of the play session. The results of the dramatization along with content of the interviews were analyzed by the researchers.

This study received no funding or grant. The authors suggest further studies to better understand how therapeutic toy and dramatization can be used in the intense daily routine of pediatric nursing care.


JANSSEN, M.F., SANTOS, R.M., and FAVERO, L. Benefícios da utilização do brinquedo durante o cuidado de enfermagem prestado à criança hospitalizada. Rev. gaúcha enferm. [online]. 2010, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 247-253, ISSN: 0102-6933 [viewed 29 March 2020]. DOI: Available from:

JESUS, I.Q., et al. Opinião de acompanhantes de crianças em quimioterapia ambulatorial sobre uma quimioteca no Município de São Paulo. Acta paul. enferm. [online]. 2010, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 175-180, ISSN: 0103-2100 [viewed 29 March 2020]. DOI: 10.1590/S0103-21002010000200004. Available from:

MAIA, E.B.S., RIBEIRO, C.A., and BORBA, R.I.H. Compreendendo a sensibilização do enfermeiro para o uso do brinquedo terapêutico na prática assistencial à criança. Rev. esc. enferm. [online]. 2011, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 839-846, ISSN: 0080-6234 [viewed 29 March 2020]. DOI: 10.1590/S0080-62342011000400007. Available from:

To read the article, visit

BARROSO, M.C.da C. S., et al. Children’s perception of venipuncture through therapeutic toy. Acta paul. enferm. [online]. 2020, vol. 33, e-APE20180296. ISSN: 0103-2100. DOI: 10.37689/acta-ape/2020ao0296. Avaliable from:

External links

Acta Paulista de Enfermagem – APE: <>

Grupo de Estudos sobre a Criança Doente – GECD/EE-USP <>

Sociedade Brasileira de Enfermeiros Pediatras – SOBEP <>


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

DOS SANTOS, R.S.F.V. Therapeutic toy helps children coping with fear and venous puncture-related pain [online]. SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases, 2020 [viewed ]. Available from:


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