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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1991 Aug;72(9):697-700.

Bravery training: an approach to desensitizing young children to fears encountered in the hospital setting.

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Psychology Department, Oregon Rehabilitation Center, Sacred Heart General Hospital, Eugene 97401.


A behavioral modeling and reinforcement procedure for "bravery training" is presented for assisting young children to cope with fears encountered in a hospital setting. Its successful application is described with two young language-impaired children on an inpatient rehabilitation unit. One child was a seven-year-old boy with giant cell astrocytoma whose fearfulness of radiation treatment necessitated sedating him during the procedure; the other was a five-year-old boy with seizure disorder whose fearfulness of feedings through a stomach tube necessitated restraining him during feedings. Parent training is provided in the model as a way to assist children to generalize the coping skills to other relevant situations. The puppet bravery training model is offered as a positive supportive procedure that can help prepare even language-impaired children to cope with fears in the hospital while enabling health care providers to proceed with necessary therapies.

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