A systematic scoping literature review on the use of child life therapy (CLT) in the perioperative setting

J Perioper Pract. 2021 Aug 11:17504589211005714. doi: 10.1177/17504589211005714. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Children and their caregivers often experience anxiety related to a perioperative admission. A systematic scoping review was conducted to map the evidence for child life therapy, including the professional background of treating clinicians.

METHODS: A scoping review was conducted using the Arksey and O’Malley methodology. Six databases: PubMed, CINAHL, PsychINFO, Cochrane Library, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched.

RESULTS: After reviewing 578 titles and abstracts, and 55 full texts, 11 studies were retained. Included studies were randomised controlled trials (n = 5), retrospective studies (n = 3), descriptive studies (n = 1) and clinical studies (n = 2). Child life therapy was effective for anxiety, anaesthetic induction quality, child cooperation and parental satisfaction. Professions delivering interventions included Child Life Therapists, nurses and a multidisciplinary team.

CONCLUSION: There is emerging evidence for child life therapy which may be used to guide delivery of paediatric procedural support in perioperative settings. Further studies are needed to inform practice.

PMID:34380354 | DOI:10.1177/17504589211005714

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