Presentation (Project) Title

Positively Waiting: Technology as the Preferred Distractor in the Pediatric Setting

Mentor Information

Timothy Stephen Ernest with Donna Lee Ettel-Gambino (Judy Genshaft Honors College)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Visiting a healthcare facility as a child may be considered a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience. Recent research suggests that positive distractions, such as pet therapy and single-user electronic devices, aid in reducing anxiety and increasing patient satisfaction throughout a patient’s experience at a pediatric healthcare facility. The aim of this quality improvement project was to determine which positive distractions patients experienced and whether single-user electronic loaner devices should be provided to patients at pediatric outpatient facilities. A quantitative causal comparative approach was utilized in identifying patient exposure to key positive distraction techniques that may significantly decrease anxiety. The independent variable was caretaker gender. The dependent variables were caretakers’ responses to interview questions regarding exposure to and interest in positive distractors. Many patients had interactions with therapy dogs than clowns, musicians, with none reporting interaction with magicians at the facility. Although funding is provided for positive distractions, the results show that reported exposure to any single activity did not exceed 30%. Many patients (71%) showed interest in having access to single-user electronics during clinic appointment wait times. Male patients showed great interest (87%) in having access to single-user electronics. Findings suggest pediatric healthcare facilities funding single-user electronics to reduce patient anxiety may increase patient satisfaction. Additionally, data suggest administrators may benefit by offering an array of positive distractions, with a particular focus on pet-therapy programs. Child life specialists are particularly suited for overseeing the implementation of an efficient and effective program.

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Positively Waiting: Technology as the Preferred Distractor in the Pediatric Setting

Visiting a healthcare facility as a child may be considered a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience. Recent research suggests that positive distractions, such as pet therapy and single-user electronic devices, aid in reducing anxiety and increasing patient satisfaction throughout a patient’s experience at a pediatric healthcare facility. The aim of this quality improvement project was to determine which positive distractions patients experienced and whether single-user electronic loaner devices should be provided to patients at pediatric outpatient facilities. A quantitative causal comparative approach was utilized in identifying patient exposure to key positive distraction techniques that may significantly decrease anxiety. The independent variable was caretaker gender. The dependent variables were caretakers’ responses to interview questions regarding exposure to and interest in positive distractors. Many patients had interactions with therapy dogs than clowns, musicians, with none reporting interaction with magicians at the facility. Although funding is provided for positive distractions, the results show that reported exposure to any single activity did not exceed 30%. Many patients (71%) showed interest in having access to single-user electronics during clinic appointment wait times. Male patients showed great interest (87%) in having access to single-user electronics. Findings suggest pediatric healthcare facilities funding single-user electronics to reduce patient anxiety may increase patient satisfaction. Additionally, data suggest administrators may benefit by offering an array of positive distractions, with a particular focus on pet-therapy programs. Child life specialists are particularly suited for overseeing the implementation of an efficient and effective program.