Fear of needles: possible impact on delivery of vaccines and treatments

Added February 15, 2022

Citation: McLenon J, Rogers MA. The fear of needles: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2019;75(1):30-42.

Language: English.

Free to view: Yes.

What is this? Hypodermic needles are widely used to administer interventions that might prevent and treat illness, including vaccination for infectious diseases such as COVID-19. However, fear of needles is common.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for articles about the prevalence of a fear of needles and the impacts of this fear on vaccination behavior. They did not restrict their searches by language of publication and did the search in June 2017. They included 119 articles in the systematic review and 35 in the meta-analysis.

What was found: Fear of needles decreased with age with children being the most fearful of needles.

Fear of needless was more common among women than men.

Fear of needles varied across conditions and diseases.

Some people avoided vaccination because of their fear of needles.


This summary was prepared by Joly Ghanawi, edited by Sydney Johnson and finalized by Mike Clarke.

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