How can fear affect overall health? And how can Buzzy® help?

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PDF Includes:
  • 7 Secrets for Shots
  • Improving Infant Immunizations
  • Magic Tricks for Needle Sticks
  • Advanced Needle Fear Solutions
What is Needle Phobia?
Needle phobia is an extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or needles. For most people who have this fear, it develops around age 4 or 5 with a bad immunization experience. 
 Additionally, about 3-5% of women and 1-2% of men have a genetic predisposition to getting light-headed or fainting (ie vasovagal syncope) in response to needle procedures. While this can lead to an avoidance or fear of needles, it starts out as physiologic response first. 
Needle Phobia is Growing
In 1995, the incidence of adult needle phobia ranked at 10%.  A study in 2012 found a that numbers had risen to 24%. 

Similarly, a a 2012 survey by Target found 23% of those who didn’t get a flu shot avoided it because of the needle. 
For children, the incidence changed from 25% in 1995 to 63% in 2012 — 252% increase in less than 2 decades. 
Needle phobia can have some disturbing side effects. Our NIH research showed children with high needle fear were 2.5x less likely to start their HPV series than those with low fear. Fear of needles is a barrier to health.
Health Risks of Needle Phobia
Needle phobia affects personal and public health in profound ways. 
7% Adults and
8% of Children
are non-compliant with vaccines due to needle phobia. 
(Taddio 2012)
22% of Adults
fear needles enough to take risks with their health in regard to travel vaccinations.
51% of Adults
with Type II Diabetes
delay insulin injections due to a fear of needles
(Aronson 2015)
94% of Adults
Feel a fear reaction every time they inject.
(Aronson 2015)
Preventing Needle Phobia in Children
Protecting anyone from life-long needle phobia must start from their first memorable experiences with needles. Even with children who are pre-disposed to fainting, other factors play an important role in the development of a health-threatening phobia.
If parents and professionals intervene early on in children’s lives, it can help protect them from developing this health-threatening condition. The more vaccines we give in early childhood, the more opportunities for traumatic memory and association with doctors. As we add more vaccines, we MUST add protective ways of decreasing the negative reaction to healthcare.
Childhood Injections Have Increased From 6 To Over 30
Needle pain management is one of the most effective interventions. During the first encounters with needles, needle pain management and distraction can protect the child from traumatic experience associated with medical procedures and the clinical environment and experience, and prevent the child from developing anxiety and even phobia later in her life.

The best interventions deal with both pain directly as well as fear and focus. Learning to distract oneself from pain is a lifelong coping strategy.
How Do We Treat Needle Phobia?
There's a variety of ways to help prevent needle phobia from developing, and to ease the effects of needle phobia.
Distraction is an incredible tool to mediate both fear and pain in needle procedures. Numerous studies show the effectiveness of distraction in reducing pain and negative emotions during injections.
Physical ways to reduce needle pain include Buzzy®, topical anesthetics, and alternative injection methods like J-Tip. For a breakdown of these methods by effectiveness and cost, check out our value analysis.
According to clinical researchBuzzy® Pain Relief can reduce IV needle pain by 50%; some studies have looked at both pain and fear. Used with DistrACTION® Cards, Buzzy® can almost completely eliminate pain (0.53 on a 10 point scale, Inal S.). The physiology of cold and vibration, called Gate Control, naturally blocks out the competing stimulation of pain. Controlling as many aspects of a medical visit as possible is one way to control your fear of needles.  
How MMJ Labs Addresses Needle Phobia
As a byproduct of developing Buzzy, Dr. Baxter realized the abrupt rise in needle fear, and constructed the multimodal model of pain/fear/focus reduction to comprehensively address the  problem. In addition to TEDx and TEDMED talks about the causes and consequences of needle phobia, Dr. Baxter presents research on the subject and writes scholarly articles. Contact us directly if you are interested in the subject, have a solution to share, or plan a research study. 

Taddio, Ipp et al. Survey of the prevalence of immunization non-compliance due to needle fears in children and adults. Vaccine 2012;30(32):4807-12

ARmfield, J The extent and nature of dental fear and phobia in Australia. Aust Dent J 2011;55(5):368-77

Wright, Yelland et al. Fear of needles–nature and prevalence in general practice. Aust Fam Physician 2009;38(3):172-6