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

LUCY BRAY, EDMUND HOROWICZ, Kimberley Preston, BERNIE CARTER

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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 marginalized 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 statusPublished - 22 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • children
  • procedures
  • involvement
  • decisions
  • Children

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