Needle-related medical procedures (NRMPs) are often frightening and cause children anxiety and pain. Only a few studies have examined the perspectives of younger children. More knowledge is needed about younger children's experiences in caring situations such as NRMPs.
The aim of this study was to explain and understand the consequences related to NRMPs from younger children's perspectives.
Participant observations and interviews with younger children who had experienced NRMPs were analysed using a lifeworld hermeneutic approach.
Experiencing fear is central for younger children during an NRMP and interpretation of its consequences formed the basis for the following themes: seeking security, realizing the adult's power, struggling for control, feeling ashamed, and surrendering. A comprehensive understanding is presented wherein younger children's experiences of NRMPs vary across time and space related to weakening and strengthening their feelings of fear.
Awareness is needed that adults' power becomes more obvious for children during an NRMP. Children's surrender does not necessarily imply acceptance of the procedure. Providing children with opportunities to control elements of the procedure creates a foundation for active participation, and vice versa.