Using participatory drama workshops to explore children's beliefs. understandings and experiences of coming to hospital for clinical procedures

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Abstract

Children attending hospital for a clinical procedure such as a scan or
blood test can experience anxiety and uncertainty. Children who are
informed and supported before and during procedures tend to have a
more positive experience. Despite this there is a lack of empirical
evidence directly from children around how they would like to be
supported before, during and after a procedure. This qualitative study
used improvised drama workshops to investigate children’s (n=15, aged
7-14 years) perceptions and opinions of attending hospital for a
procedure and what would help them have a positive encounter. Children
portrayed themselves as having a small presence during a hospital
procedure; depicted by the two themes of ‘having to be brave but feeling
scared inside’ and ‘wanting to get involved but being too afraid to ask’.
Within both themes children described how the directive and reassuring
language and actions used by health professionals and parents
marginalised their contributions. This study shows that children
attending hospital for procedures value the opportunity to have a
presence and active role, to express their emotions, join in interactions
and be involved in making choices about their care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
Early online date22 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • children
  • procedures
  • involvement
  • decisions

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    Professor LUCY BRAY

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