Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

State Anxiety Reduction Utilizing Child Life and Hospital Clowning: A Randomized Control Trial

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

State Anxiety Reduction Utilizing Child Life and Hospital Clowning: A Randomized Control Trial

Article excerpt

Fear and anxiety may be significant among patients treated in a Pediatric Emergency Department. Despite inherent risks, these emotional states are often treated pharmacologically. We are investigating whether two non-pharmacological interventions, child life (CL) and hospital clowning (HC), can reduce patients' fear and state anxiety.

Methods: This is an on-going randomized control trial. All patients triaged as non-urgent are randomized to CL, HC, or control. Both CL and HC interventions are 5-10 minutes prior to physician examination. The "Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale" (YPAS) is a validated observer-rated scale including 5 categories to measure a child's anxiety level: activity, vocalizations, emotional expressivity, state of apparent arousal, and use of parents (score=23 represents lowest anxiety). The YPAS is administered when the patient enters an exam room (Tl), prior to physician arrival (T2) and during physician examination (T3).

Results: Sample consists of 75 patients (42.7% females, 58.3% males; M age=7.5 years, SD=2.1) randomized to HC (n=30), CL (n=30), or control (n=15). Time 1 YPAS mean scores are: HC M=27.3 (SD=5.7), CL M=28.4 (SD=8.4), control M=27.8 (SD=5.6). Time 2 YPAS mean scores are: HC M=25.3 (SD=3.9), CL M=23.7 (SD=2.2), control M=28.9 (SD=7.9). Time 3 YPAS mean scores are: HC M=26.3 (SD=4.6), CL M=24. …

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