What, Why, How
Child Life Therapy (CLT) is a hospital‐based program designed to help counteract the fears, misconceptions and anxiety that hospital experiences can provoke for children through distraction therapy and/or medical play activities that support the child’s developmental, social and emotional wellbeing.
Reducing this anxiety in both child and family is considered critical for improved health and social outcomes following a period of hospitalisation. Without such support, children can become overwhelmed with anxiety about both hospital, procedure and/or operation, which can have a negative impact on their post-treatment recovery. The program also helps to improve the ability of medical clinicians to treat the patient efficiently and effectively.
This program will be based at the Gold Coast University Hospital and will be available for all child perioperative patients. The Child Life Therapist uses a range of distraction activities, including arts and crafts, puzzles and games, to put children at ease, and works with families to reduce their anxiety around the hospital experience.
Child Life Therapy Impact
It is estimated that up to 1,200 patients per year will be directly supported by this program. In addition, each patient’s family as well as medical staff will also be positively impacted by this service.
Just some of the program outcomes include: - reduced instances of surgery cancellations, optimised child health outcomes through an improved hospital journey and experience, the provision of tailored support for vulnerable and marginalised families as they engage with hospital services for their child/ren, perhaps for the very first time.
Parent whose child was hospitalised
Child Life Therapy