Establishing consensus on principles and competencies for the use of play in clinical practice in hospitals: An international Delphi study

Jakob Thestrup*, Jette Led Sørensen, Jane Hybschmann, Martha Krogh Topperzer, Kelsey Graber, Christine O'Farrelly, Jenny Gibson, Paul Ramchandani, Thomas Leth Frandsen, Line Klingen Gjærde

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Abstract

Although play has existed in paediatric hospitals for decades, a shared understanding of why and how healthcare professionals use play in clinical practice is lacking. This study aims to reach consensus on a common set of principles and competencies for play interventions and practices in hospitals. We conducted a three-round Delphi study that included healthcare professionals selected by hospital management. The first round comprised open-ended questions on the use of play in clinical practice. Principles and competencies, including learning objectives, were established using content analysis through an iterative process. Participants rated the importance of each principle and learning objective in the second and third rounds. Among the 66 participants, 45 (68%) responded in round 1 and 41 (62%) in rounds 2 and 3. The participants represented ten countries and nine different health professions. After the three rounds, we identified 33 principles and six overall competencies: building trusting relationships; delivering information and increasing understanding; promoting cooperation and participation; reducing procedure-related anxiety and pain; supporting coping and development; and ensuring a professional approach to play, which comprised 20 learning objectives. Conclusion: According to healthcare professionals, play in clinical practice can be used to communicate and build relationships with paediatric patients and thus potentially help provide patient-centred care. Our findings may help guide and prioritize future research initiatives and operationalize play interventions and practices in hospitals. What is Known: • Evidence suggests that using play in clinical practice can help paediatric patients during hospitals stays. • Despite the evidence supporting the use of play, a shared understanding of why and how paediatric healthcare professionals use play is needed. What is New: • This international Delphi study contributes to a shared interprofessional understanding of the principles, competencies and learning objectives for the use of play in clinical practice. • The findings have the potential to aid initiatives in developing training programmes for healthcare professionals in using play to provide care with a patient-centred approach.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
ISSN0340-6199
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 6 jan. 2024

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