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J Formos Med Assoc. 2015 Oct;114(10):995-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2013.12.006. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Hospital-based school for children with chronic illness in Taiwan.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, E-Da Hospital, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, E-Da Hospital, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan; Department of Chinese Medicine, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Electronic address:
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, E-Da Hospital, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.
  • 4Department of Medical Education, E-Da Hospital, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan; Graduate Institute of Adult Education, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.



To provide educational support and avoid unwanted damage that may impede learning for children with chronic illness, the learning environment should be friendly and safe. There is a need to establish schools inside hospitals, however, which may be neglected in a highly efficient health care system. A study was conducted to identify hospital-based schools for sick children in Taiwan, and to explore the barriers for implementation.


The data were collected by structured telephone interview and retrieval of hospital web information. The study targeted social workers and nurses in the pediatric wards of 29 hospitals, plus officials from the Education Bureau in Taiwan. The interviewers inquired about the availability of a formal educational program inside hospitals and the barriers (if any) in providing educational supports.


Taiwan has only one hospital-based informal school and eight hospitals with rotating bedside teachers. Education inside hospitals occurs mostly through voluntary teaching in informal education models. Information about special educational resources has not been widely distributed to patients and health care providers. Professional personnel in Taiwan are not well aware of the needs to establish a hospital-based school.


The educational needs of children with chronic illness can be easily neglected even in an industrialized country. The establishment of policy and the enrichment of professional education on advocacy are necessary to eliminate educational inequities and benefit sick children.


advocacy; chronic illness; educational resource; health policy; hospital-based school; special education

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