Date of Conferral







Carolyn Sipes


AbstractAdult patients receiving cosmetic injections frequently experience needle fear symptoms which results in patient discomfort, suffering, and poor injection outcomes. The needle fear experience contributes to a decreased quality of life and possible avoidance behaviors involving other medical treatments requiring needles. Researchers have conducted quantitative studies which explored interventions on pain reduction but there are no qualitative studies from the perspectives of adults experiencing needle fear. The purpose of this research study was to explore the perceptions of needle fear in adult patients receiving cosmetic injections in a medical office setting. The interpretative phenomenological approach was used to provide an understanding of needle fear from the perspective of adult participants. Skinner’s theory of operant conditioning was the theoretical framework used to inform the study. Semistructured interviews were conducted with eight participants to answer the research question. Thematic analysis of the data resulted in four themes: (a) anticipation of the injection event, a build-up; (b) reinforcing elements on needle fear feelings; c) strategies and skills easing needle fear; and (d) needle fear experience and consequences. This original research contributes to awareness and understanding the needle fear phenomenon. Increased understanding by nursing providers supports positive social change by improving patient outcomes and quality of life; reducing patient suffering; and providing insight on patient avoidance behaviors involving other medical injections such as blood draws, vaccination, and treatment of chronic medical conditions.