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The Function of Hosptial Play Therapy and the Role of Play Therapists

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Abstract:

Hospital play therapy is used to help children cope with hospitalisation. However, little is known about the function of hospital play therapy and the role of a play therapist, in particular, from the perspective of parents of children and health care providers. This study aimed to examine play therapist, parent, and health care professional perceptions of the function and role of hospital play therapy and the play therapist.
Twenty six participants comprising parents, health care professionals and play therapists were recruited and completed a questionnaire covering exposure to play therapy, perceptions of the function of play therapy, the education, training and role of play therapists, and the importance of play therapy. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 9 participants to gain a more in-depth understanding drawn from their experiences and observations of play therapy.
The findings revealed that hospital play therapy was seen to have several primary functions including helping children cope, preparing and distracting children from medical procedures and to occupy or entertain them. Some of these functions were viewed as core roles of the therapist, including, preparing children for medical procedures and distracting them. However developing a strong trustworthy relationship with children was also viewed a key and unique aspect of the therapist’s role. Participants valued hospital play therapy as equal in importance to other medical, allied health and support services provided to children in hospital. Finally, formal training in early childhood education and child development were seen to be the primary education and training required to be a play therapist.
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Association:
Name: Children and Childhoods Research Symposium
URL:
http://www.iec.mq.edu.au


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p439549_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Zuvela, Christine. and Gibson, Frances. "The Function of Hosptial Play Therapy and the Role of Play Therapists" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Children and Childhoods Research Symposium, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, Sep 24, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p439549_index.html>

APA Citation:

Zuvela, C. and Gibson, F. , 2010-09-24 "The Function of Hosptial Play Therapy and the Role of Play Therapists" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Children and Childhoods Research Symposium, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p439549_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Hospital play therapy is used to help children cope with hospitalisation. However, little is known about the function of hospital play therapy and the role of a play therapist, in particular, from the perspective of parents of children and health care providers. This study aimed to examine play therapist, parent, and health care professional perceptions of the function and role of hospital play therapy and the play therapist.
Twenty six participants comprising parents, health care professionals and play therapists were recruited and completed a questionnaire covering exposure to play therapy, perceptions of the function of play therapy, the education, training and role of play therapists, and the importance of play therapy. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 9 participants to gain a more in-depth understanding drawn from their experiences and observations of play therapy.
The findings revealed that hospital play therapy was seen to have several primary functions including helping children cope, preparing and distracting children from medical procedures and to occupy or entertain them. Some of these functions were viewed as core roles of the therapist, including, preparing children for medical procedures and distracting them. However developing a strong trustworthy relationship with children was also viewed a key and unique aspect of the therapist’s role. Participants valued hospital play therapy as equal in importance to other medical, allied health and support services provided to children in hospital. Finally, formal training in early childhood education and child development were seen to be the primary education and training required to be a play therapist.


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