Assessing Knowledge Status on Comfort Positioning in Pediatric Care: A Narrative Review


  • Isha Prasad Dalhousie University
  • Joanne Gallant IWK Health Centre


Pain prevention and comfort positioning are vital components of pediatric care, as they can help improve the experience of pediatric patients undergoing painful and/or traumatic medical procedures. A search of the literature was conducted for the purpose of assessing current best practice for comfort positioning and pain prevention in pediatric care facilities. Databases used in the search included CINAHL, US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, and PubMed.  The synthesis of findings from this search suggested a reaffirmation of the benefits of comfort positioning. It also suggests that pain prevention in pediatrics is extremely vital, as painful procedures without adequate comfort measures have been connected to the development of a fear of treatments and subsequently, avoidance of medical care. Outpatient clinics were observed for the purpose of assessing current practices to further assess healthcare workers’ current knowledge of comfort positioning and determine next steps to further enhance pain prevention methods in pediatric care through practice standards. The observational findings highlight that there is an informal standard for comfort positioning within this hospital, despite no formal policy or practice guideline. It was observed that comfort positioning seems to be less effective for older children. Instead, they tend to prefer to be thoroughly educated on the procedure with open and honest communication to implement a feeling of having control. This suggests that comfort measures should expand beyond physical positioning, and instead expand into the way that healthcare professionals approach and speak about the procedures. These themes highlight a need to implement a set of guidelines for comfort positioning and pain prevention in pediatric facilities. Formal guidelines would encourage standardized and evidence-informed practice for pain management strategies.

Author Biographies

Isha Prasad, Dalhousie University

Isha Prasad is a semester 8 nursing student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Isha took the IWK Service Learning project course as an elective and with the help of her mentor, Joanne Gallant, found a new passion for nursing research and policy formation. Isha hopes to continue on this path when beginning her nursing career. 

Joanne Gallant, IWK Health Centre

Joanne Gallant is an RN and Clinical Leader of Development at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was a Mentor in Dalhousie University School of Nursing's IWK Service Learning Project course in which she supervised and contributed to this article.