Child life specialists recognize that clinical care and decision-making must be grounded in evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice represents an integration of clinical experience, the best available research, and patient preference/needs. The Child Life Council has supported the review and analysis of outcome research that specifically addresses child life practices in order to give child life professionals the evidence they need to continually advance quality of practice and to communicate with others about child life work. We are pleased to offer a series of evidence-based practice statements, commissioned by the CLC Executive Board, and developed with the input of the Evidence Based Practice and Professional Resources Committees.
Summary: The key considerations for child life assessment are the child’s temperament and coping style, the parental level of anxiety and the number of invasive medical procedures. Although child life specialists have a primary role in psychosocial care, evidence-based practice models support inter-professional collaboration (e.g. child life and social work) as a means of addressing complex issues associated with child and family adaptation to hospitalization.
Review a Summary of the EBP Statement on Child Life Assessment (3 pgs, 124 KB)
Review the complete EBP Statement on Child Life Assessment (16 pgs, 210 KB)
Summary: Empirical evidence provides support for the effectiveness of therapeutic play in reducing psychological and physiological stress in hospitalized children. Additional research is necessary regarding the effectiveness of specific forms of therapeutic play, as well as how children in hospital perceive the value of these play experiences. By obtaining children’s perspectives on therapeutic play, evidence-based practice in child life can be enhanced.
Review the One-Page Summary of the EBP Statement on Therapeutic Play (2 pgs, 117 KB)
Review the complete EBP Statement on Therapeutic Play (10 pgs, 189 KB)
Summary: An extensive review of the literature along with child life clinical experience have validated that most children prepared for medical procedures experience significantly lower levels of fear and anxiety compared to children who are not prepared. Preparation also promotes long-term coping and adjustment to future medical challenges.
Review the One-Page Summary of the EBP Statement on Preparation (2 pgs, 109 KB)
Review the complete EBP Statement on Preparation (13 pgs, 228 KB)
The below resources were created by the Evidence-Based Practice Committee to provided child life specialists with access to guides and models in EBP.