Attention bias for threatening information in children following a distressing medical procedure

Reginald Nixon, Neil Brewer, Anna McKinnon, Kate Cameron, Jemma Bray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Attention bias is common in adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but is less studied in children. Children (n=22) who experienced a potentially distressing procedure in an outpatient clinic (removal of K-wires from orthopaedic fractures) and a group of medically unwell children (illness group; n=27) were compared with healthy controls (n=32). Children's baseline level of PTS symptoms were indexed prior to the medical procedure, and again at 1-week follow-up. Immediately after the K-wire removal, children completed a dot probe task using two categories of target words (medical threatening and emotionally threatening). While K-wire children showed an overall bias away from negative words relative to healthy controls, the illness group did not significantly differ from healthy controls. Attention bias in K-wire and illness groups was unrelated to later PTS symptoms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223-231
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian Psychologist
    Volume49
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

    Keywords

    • Attention bias
    • Children
    • Dot probe
    • Illness
    • Injury
    • Post-traumatic stress

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