Women's perception of pain and distress during intravenous catheterization and urethral mini-catheterization

Linda Kelley, David P. Sklar, David R. Johnson, Dan Tandberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A study was done to prospectively compare the pain and distress of urethral mini-catheterization (MC) with the pain and distress of intravenous (IV) catheterization in women. Ten-centimeter visual analog scales were used on which the left end represented 'no pain' or 'no distress' and the right 'the worst pain imaginable' or 'extreme distress.' Distress was defined to include embarrassment, anxiety, or fear. A convenience sample of 40 adult women who presented to a university emergency department and were undergoing both procedures as part of their management appraised pain and distress after IV placement and urethral MC. The mean IV pain score was 4.2 cm, whereas the mean MC score was only 2.5 cm (P = .02). The IV and MC distress score means were similar (2.3 v 2.6 cm, P = .55). These results suggest that patients perceive urethral MC as less painful than IV placement. The distress scores of these two procedures did not differ and were low in both instances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-572
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Intravenous catheterization
  • Pain measurement
  • Urethral catheterization
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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