This may come as a shock to those who have never owned (or seen, or been around) a television, but apparently watching tv is distracting enough that it can be called analgesic... it dulls pain.
It takes me back to those nights when I would watch 4 Tivo'd episodes of "24" in a row, just to forget that I didn't want to do my assignments and couldn't bear the thought of going back to work the next morning. 'Course having a beer always enhanced the experience I was going for... hmmm, maybe they should study the analgesic effects of beer...
Now, you may get the sense that I'm a little cynical; I am concerned about the kinds of studies that get funded, especially when funding is so hard to come by these days.* Actually, I can't help but pick fun at studies that maybe should remain anecdotal.
There is something good to say about this study, however; using tv as an analgesic for small children undergoing routine procedures (blood draws) is a cheap, non-invasive and apparently effective way to decrease the stress of the procedure. Finding another use for tv besides "babysitter" is laudable. Not that I do that, by the way.
* This study was performed in Italy, not in the U.S.