The current study discusses the development and preliminary validation of an observational measure of caregivers’ distress-promoting behavior (OUCHIE-RV) in the context of toddler routine vaccination.
Measure validation was based on a sample of caregiver–toddler dyads (N = 223) from a longitudinal cohort-sequential study who were observed during toddlers’ 12-, 18-, or 24-month routine vaccinations. Validity was assessed using correlations and cross-lagged path analysis and associations were tested between OUCHIE-RV composite scores and toddlers’ pain-related distress as well as caregivers’ state anxiety, soothing behaviors, heart rate, and heart rate variability. Interrater reliability was examined using intraclass correlations (ICC) and kappa coefficients.
Results of a cross-lagged path analysis indicated positive concurrent (β = .27 to β = .37) and cross-lagged predictive associations (β = .01 to β = .34) between OUCHIE-RV composite scores (reflecting the frequency and intensity of caregivers’ distress-promoting behavior) and toddlers’ pain-related distress. OUCHIE-RV composite scores were negatively associated with caregivers’ concurrent use of physical comfort (r = −.34 to −.24) and rocking (r = −.36 to −.19) and showed minimal associations with caregivers’ use of verbal reassurance (r = .06 to .12), state anxiety (r = −.02 to r = .09), heart rate (r = −.15 to r = .05), and heart rate variability (r = −.04 to r = .13). Interrater reliability was strong (Cohen’s k = .86 to .97, ICC = .77 to .85).
Findings provide support for the validity and reliability of the OUCHIE-RV as a research tool for measuring caregiver behaviors that promote toddlers’ pain-related distress during routine vaccinations and contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of caregiver–toddler interaction in acute pain contexts.