[Fcs-grad] FW: Abbie's Thesis Defense Thursday 4/30 3pm AEB 228--Children's Distress During Hospital Procedures: The Role of Child Life Specialists

Sandy M Stark sandy.stark at fcs.utah.edu
Thu Apr 9 08:16:47 MDT 2015


Thursday April 30, 3pm in AEB 220
Abbie Owens Lofgren
Children's Distress During Hospital Procedures: The Role of Child Life Specialists

Abstract

Child life specialists help make the hospital experience easier for pediatric patients and their families.  They play numerous roles, from preparing for and supporting children during medical procedures to providing support to healthy siblings of sick children to providing education training to other healthcare professionals and advocating for the patient and his/her family to other healthcare providers (Thompson, 2009; Thompson, 1989).  Child life specialists implement these strategies in order to try to alleviate the anxiety and distress that can occur with hospitalization.  Yet, there is little research examining specific roles of child life specialists.  Although some previous research has examined child life programs and child behavior during hospitalization, this research examines child life specialist intervention during procedures (rather than in the playroom, in an inpatient room, etc.), and also examines specific child life specialist strategies during procedures.

For this study, "procedures" referred specifically to IV insertions.  Results indicated that child life intervention was related to lower distress in children ages 2-7 years, but was not related to lower distress in patients ages 8-20 years.  The most common strategy used by child life specialists was distraction, whereas the least common strategy was providing an opportunity for position of comfort.  Providing support during a procedure was significantly related to lower distress in patients ages 8-20 years.

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