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Practice Innovations

Reducing Pediatric Patient Anxiety: Implementing a Nonpharmacologic Intervention to Aid Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Julie L. Natale
CJON 2021, 25(2), 215-218 DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.215-218

Pharmacologic interventions are often used to assist with immobilization and decrease anxiety in pediatric patients undergoing radiation therapy. For these patients, distraction can be an alternative to using pharmacologic measures to address anxiety. As a distraction technique, this pilot project placed pediatric patients aged 3 to 6 years in a remote-controlled ride-on car (RC-ROC) to enter and exit the radiation therapy treatment room. Evaluation of the effectiveness of this distraction technique included patient propofol dosing, time sedated, and time in the treatment room, as well as staff satisfaction with the technique.


  • For pediatric patients receiving radiation therapy, an RC-ROC can be an effective distraction technique.
  • Using this RC-ROC before a child’s radiation treatment session may reduce a patient’s propofol induction dose, total dose, and time under sedation.
  • Radiation therapy staff responded favorably to using this RC-ROC strategy during pediatric patient treatment sessions.

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