Therapeutic Play and Anxiety in Hospitalized Children
COVID-19 pediatric hospitalization have risen significantly over the past few months with over 600 hospitalizations each day in the United States for children aged 0-17 (CDC, 2022). Hospitalization is a stressful time for children and their families: 1 in 10 hospitalized children experience anxiety and depression (Doupknik, 2019). To reduce the negative psychological impact that hospitalization has on children, therapeutic play may be the answer. Therapeutic play in the medical setting utilizes toys, drawings, tools, or videos to demonstrate a medical procedure to a child. This type of play allows children to communicate with themselves, family, and healthcare staff to process their emotions; thus, decreasing overall anxiety levels. The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not therapeutic play interventions would decrease anxiety in hospitalized school-aged children ages 6-12 years.