This study identified the influence of outdoor play spaces on hospitalized children and their families by interviewing four Child Life Specialists and Playroom Coordinators. Literature on play, outdoor play, and accessible play spaces was used to inform data collection and analysis. Previous literature suggests the importance of both play and outdoor play for children. Cognitive and psychosocial developmental theories tell us that important developmental milestones are achieved by play opportunities. Participants were asked to describe the outdoor play space available at their hospitals and recount experiences where they saw patients and families experience both benefits and barriers in relation to the outdoor space. Results show that outdoor play spaces provide various benefits to hospitalized children and their families, including a meaningful retreat, normalizing the hospital environment, and positively impacting coping and feelings of control. Barriers and limitations were also revealed involving the lack of accessibility and weather conditions. It is important that hospitals consider this new knowledge in developing appropriate pediatric healthcare settings.
|Advisor:||Schmidt, Jenine V., Perez, Linda|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 58/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education, Health care management|
|Keywords:||Child life specialist, Outdoor, Outdoor play, Pediatric hospital, Pediatrics, Play spaces|
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