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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 10

Journal 9, August-September 2008
pages: 597-599

Doctor, is my Teddy Bear Okay? A "Teddy Bear Hospital” as a Method to Reduce Children’s Fear of Hospitalization

    Summary

    Background: Children report various types of fear in the context of hospitalization, such as fear of separation from the family, having injections and blood tests, having to stay in the hospital for a long time, and being told “bad news” about their health.

    Objectives: To examine the effects of the “Teddy Bear Hospital” method on preschool children’s fear of future hospitalization.

    Methods: The study group comprised 41 preschool children aged 3–6.5 years (mean 5.1 ± 0.7 years), and 50 preschool children, age matched and from a similar residential area, served as the control group. Assessment included a simple one-item visual analog scale of anxiety about hospitalization. This was assessed individually one day prior to the intervention and again a week after the intervention in both groups

    Results: While baseline levels of anxiety were not different between groups [t(89) = .4, NS], children in the “Teddy Bear Hospital” group reported significantly lower levels of anxiety than the control group at follow-up

    Conclusions: Our results indicate that by initiating a controlled pain-free encounter with the medical environment in the form of a “Teddy Bear Hospital,” we can reduce children’s anxiety about hospitalization.

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