The study took place at the University Hospital in Lyon and was held amongst a 100 children and their parents. 20 minutes prior to the anaesthetic half was administered the drug Midazolam and the other half could play a game on an iPad.
The children and their parents were tested four times on their anxiety during the day. First of all on entry, second when the children were separated from the parents, third in the operating room (with the exception of the parents who at this stage were excluded) and, finally, afterwards in the post-anaesthesia care unit (PACU). The nurses were also asked to indicate on a scale of one to ten how they experienced bringing the kids under narcosis.
No difference in stress
After analysis of all interviews the psychologists came to the conclusion that both the children who received the drug and the kids who received the iPad as medicine showed an equal amount of anxiety. Remarkably, both the parents of the children and the doctors who were administering the drug indicated that the procedure in which the children were given an iPad was more pleasant than with the group who received the drug.
The conclusion of the researchers is that the use of tablets and other mobile devices is a good non-medicated solution to reduce stress and anxiety in both children and their parents.