Comparison of pain during skin-prick testing, immunizations, and phlebotomy

Christopher A. Coop*, Joseph P. Forester

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Allergy skin prick testing is a medical procedure that is very useful for assessing a patient's sensitization to specific allergens. Some patients are worried about pain associated with prick skin testing. Objective: To compare pain among different age groups, to look at pain during skin prick testing in younger children, and to compare the pain during skin prick testing to procedures including routine immunizations and phlebotomy. Methods: A survey was provided to patients undergoing allergy skin testing, immunizations or phlebotomy at the Wilford Hall Medical Center. Results: There were 197 patients and 26 parents of patients aged 3-8 years who completed surveys during allergy skin testing. The average anticipated (pre procedure) pain score was 4.3 for the patients aged 3-8 years, 4.6 for the patients aged 9-17 years and 3.2 for the patients older than 17 years. The average actual pain score of the patients during skin testing was 3.1 for the patients aged 3-8 years, 2.2 for the patients aged 9-17 years and 1.4 for the patients older than 17 years. For the parents of patients aged 3-8 years, the average anticipated average pain score was 3.0 and the average actual pain score was 1.7. Conclusions: The actual pain experienced from skin prick testing is perceived to be much less than the anticipated pain. Patients and referring physicians should not have a fear of pain from allergy skin prick testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e93-e97
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

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