Perception of fear, distress and pain by parents of children undergoing a micturating cystourethrogram: a prospective study.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2001.00663.x


OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether parents' expectations of their child's fear, distress or pain during a micturating cystourethrogram (MCU) are realized.

METHODOLOGY: Prospective study in which parents were asked to fill out two questionnaires using a visual analogue scale, one before (pre) and the other after the MCU procedure (post), was conducted at a tertiary level paediatric hospital in Sydney, Australia. The questionnaires were designed to compare the parents' anticipated and experienced anxiety about their child's procedure and their perception of fear, distress and pain in their child during and after the procedure. The parents' satisfaction with information provided to them on the procedure was also recorded. Twenty-five parents participated in the study.

RESULTS: There were significant differences between anticipated and experienced parental anxiety. Parents' reporting of fear, distress and pain in their child during the MCU and after the procedure was lower than they had anticipated. There was a significant correlation between the parents' anxiety and their perception of severity of their child's fear (r = 0.52, P = 0.009), distress (r = 0.48, P = 0.017) and pain (r = 0.50, P = 0.01) during the procedure, but less so with the child's distress after the procedure (r = 0.39, P = 0.059). The parents were satisfied with the information given to them regarding the MCU procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: Parents' perception of their child's fear, distress and pain during the MCU, as well as distress following the MCU, was not as severe as they had anticipated. Parental anxiety is an important factor in the perception of fear, distress and pain in children during and after the procedure.

Journal Title

Journal of paediatrics and child health





First Page


Last Page


MeSH Keywords

Anxiety; Child, Preschool; Fear; Female; Humans; Infant; Male; Pain; Parents; Perception; Prospective Studies; Psychology, Child; Surveys and Questionnaires; Urethra; Urinary Bladder; Urination; Urography

Library Record