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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

Original articles

IMAJ | volume 19

Journal 12, December 2017
pages: 786-791

Assistance of Medical Clowns Improves the Physical Examinations of Children Aged 2–6 Years

Summary

Background:

A good physical exam is necessary to help pediatricians make the correct diagnosis and can save unnecessary imaging or invasive procedures. Distraction by medical clowns may create the optimal conditions for a proper physical examination.

Methods:

Children aged 2–6 years who required physical examination in the pediatric emergency department were recruited and randomly assigned to one of two groups: physical exam by a pediatrician in the presence of caregivers vs. physical exam with the assistance of a medical clown. Outcome measures consisted of the level of child's discomfort, anxiety, and the quality of the physical examination.

Results:

Ninety three children participated. Mean age was 3.3 ± 3.6 years (range 2–6). The duration of the physical exam was similar between the clown and control groups (4.6 ± 1.4 minutes vs. 4.5 ± 1.1 minutes (P = 0.64). The duration of discomfort was shorter in the clown group (0.2 ± 0.6 minutes) than the control group(1.6 ± 2.0 minutes, P = 0.001). In the medical clown group, 94% of pediatricians reported that the medical clown improved their ability to perform a complete physical examination. A trend of less hospitalization in the medical clown group was also noticed (11.3% in the medical clown group vs. 18.3% in the control group, P = 0.1); however, further study is required to verify this observation.

Conclusions:

Integration of a medical clown in physical examination improves the overall experience of the child and the caregivers and helps the pediatrician to perform a complete physical examination.

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