Fear of needles: nature and prevalence in general practice
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BACKGROUND: The extent to which a fear of needles influences health decisions remains largely unexplored. This study investigated the prevalence of fear of needles in a southeast Queensland community, described associated symptoms, and highlighted health care avoidance tendencies of affected individuals. METHODS: One hundred and seventy-seven participants attending an outer urban general practice responded to a questionnaire on fear of needles, symptoms associated with needles and its influence on their use of medical care. RESULTS: Twenty-two percent of participants reported a fear of needles. Affected participants were more likely than participants with no fear to report vasovagal symptoms, have had a previous traumatic needle experience (46.2 vs. 16.4%, p<0.001) and avoid medical treatment involving needles (20.5 vs. 2.3%, p<0.001). DISCUSSION: Fear of needles is common and is associated with health care avoidance. Health professionals could better identify and manage patients who have a fear of needles by recognising associated vasovagal symptoms and past traumatic experiences.
Australian Family Physician
Copyright 2009 Australian Family Physician. Reproduced with permission. Permission to reproduce must be sought from the publisher, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
Primary Health Care