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Jessica McIvor

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, (Doctor of Clinical Psychology)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Stupid Little Pointy Needle! Dismantling a Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment for Chronically Ill Children with Needle-Related Distress

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

For some chronically ill children, having an injection is a regular medical procedure that can result in psychological distress and avoidance behaviour for the child and their family. There can also be negative health implications if these children do not have their injections. Research supports the effectiveness of various psychological therapies for needle-related distress among children, although which components are the most effective has yet to be identified. Miss McIvor’s Doctoral Research built on her Master’s thesis and dismantled a cognitive-behavioural treatment manual that was developed in collaboration with her colleagues. The research focused on three psychological treatments including cognitive therapy (thoughts), behavioural therapy (behaviours), and cognitive-behavioural therapy (both thoughts and behaviours), with 12 children and their families. Results showed that using both cognitive and behavioural components is the most effective, and that exposing the child to injections in graded steps is the most successful therapy technique. This research has paved the way for delivering effective and efficient psychological interventions in hospital and community settings.  

Associate Professor Joanne Taylor
Dr Ruth Gammon
Dr Kirsty Ross
Professor Neville Blampied