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Child life interventions in paediatric pain 

Child life interventions in paediatric pain
Child life interventions in paediatric pain

Chantal K. LeBlanc

and Christine T. Chambers

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date: 29 July 2021

Child life specialists, as members of the health care team, are frequently involved in the assessment and management of pain in hospitalized children and children in emergency settings. Child life refers to a non-medical therapeutic service designed to address the developmental, educational, and psychosocial needs of paediatric patients. Child life specialists are professionals who ‘promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities. They provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalization’ (Child Life Council, 2012a), including painful procedures and coping with other types of pain (e.g. postoperative pain). This chapter provides an overview of the role of a child life specialist, including a historical perspective on the evolution of the field and current child life practices. The chapter then provides a summary of the specific contributions of child life specialists to pain assessment and management, including innovative uses of technology often facilitated by child life specialists.

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