A BEME review of educational programmes on the use of play in paediatric practice: BEME Guide No. 82

Christine Louise Krebs, Jakob Thestrup, Jane Hybschmann, Kelsey Graber, Line Klingen Gjærde, Martha Krogh Topperzer, Emilie Tange Nielsen, Anders Larsen, Paul Ramchandani, Thomas Leth Frandsen, Jette Led Sørensen*

*Corresponding author for this work


BACKGROUND: Play can help paediatric patients cope with hospitalisation. Education on the use of play for healthcare professionals (HCPs) is lacking, with playful interactions often occurring unsystematically without formal training. This scoping review systematically describe the frameworks, design, and evaluation methods of educational programmes for HCPs on the use of play in paediatric clinical practice.

METHODS: We conducted the scoping review by searching nine databases for white literature and websites for grey literature. Two reviewers independently screened titles/abstracts and reviewed full texts. Kirkpatrick's evaluation model was applied to report the evaluation methods of educational programmes.

RESULTS: After identifying 16534 white and 955 grey items we included twenty articles but no grey literature. The educational programmes vaguely defined play for procedural and normalising purposes and mostly targeted mono-professional groups, mainly nurses. The evaluation methods identified in the articles were reported in accordance with Kirkpatrick levels 1: reaction (n = 13); 2a: attitude (n = 7); 2b: knowledge (n = 3); 3: behaviour (n = 6); 4a: organisational practice (n = 1) and 4b: patient outcomes (n = 4).

CONCLUSION: The few educational programmes available on the use of play for HCPs are not uniformly described. Future educational programmes would benefit from integrating the needs of HCPs, patients and parents, and using a theoretical framework and systematic evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Teacher
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Dec 2023


  • curriculum
  • Educational programmes
  • healthcare professionals
  • paediatric care
  • play


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