"The use of simple distraction techniques can significantly improve patient experience," Dr. Jane Ogden, the study's author announced in a press release on the university's website.
The researchers found that stress balls were more effective for reducing pain, but talking to a nurse was vastly more effective for reducing anxiety, the study found.
The study also found that watching a DVD helped reduce anxiety, but did nothing for controlling pain, while playing music had no effect on pain or anxiety.
According to Dr. Ogden, the techniques can help patients go through operations that are done while the patient is conscious, including. "the great number of exploratory procedures, such as colonoscopies and hysteroscopies."
A previous study carried out at the King's College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience found that having a loved one present during a medical procedure intensifies pain rather than decreasing it, according to Medical News Today.