No Need(le) To Worry

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    No Need(le) To Worry: development and feasibility study of a self help cognitive behavioural therapy resource for children with needle fear



  • Contact name

    Fiona I Noble

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Sheffield Teaching Hospital Foundation NHS Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 5 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    Needles are used frequently throughout childhood to provide essential vaccinations, take blood samples and give medicines. Needle fear is very common, with around 50% of children and young people reporting that they are worried about needles. Being worried about needles can mean that people avoid or delay going to the doctor or dentist, refuse immunisations and this can cause them to have pain, infections or become unwell. Fear of needles prevents children from being able to have the treatment they need to improve their health. Health care professionals regularly see children who are so distressed at the thought of a needle that they avoid appointments or require a general anaesthetic for their treatment. Although there are currently some needle fear resources, such as leaflets and videos, which children and young people can access through the internet, there are no resources which have been developed with children and young people themselves based on approaches that are known to be effective. It is very important that children and young people are engaged in developing resources aimed at them, to ensure they are in an acceptable format and contain information that they actually find helpful. The resources which currently exist have been made by adults and may not be helpful to children. Children and young people who have generalised or specific anxiety can be helped by a talking therapy called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT for short. In view of limited services, CBT delivered by professionals is only offered to children who are extremely frightened of needles. Many more children would benefit if a resource based on CBT was available to help them feel less worried about needles. Part of this project will be to make a resource that children and young people and their parents can use at home. The resource will be developed with children and young people and will use some of the same techniques as CBT. The overall aim of the project is to develop a resource to reduce fear of needles in children and young people and investigate whether a clinical trial to evaluate it would work. The project will be conducted in two stages. The first stage involves the development of the resource and will be informed by interviews about needle fear with around 20 children aged 11-16 years old (who have experience of different kinds of needles) and 20 parents. This will gain a real understanding about the factors that cause and maintain needle fear, such as beliefs or unhelpful ways of coping, which can then be addressed in the resource. It will help identify what the resource should include, and how children would like to interact with it. The resource itself will then be created with the help of a group of children, parents and healthcare workers. The second stage of the project will investigate whether a clinical trial to evaluate the resource will be feasible. Healthcare professionals from hospitals and schools will recruit sixty children who are worried about needles and invite them to use the resource (which may be a website or app). This stage will help decide how best to measure children's fear of needles, and to understand how easy it would be to recruit children to take part in a larger project to test this resource in the future. This stage will also investigate what these children think of the resource, and how it could be improved. The views of their parents and healthcare professionals about the resource will be sought. This small study will help to plan a larger study which will show whether the resource works.

  • REC name

    London - Westminster Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    1 Dec 2022

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion