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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2016 Jan;55(1):56-65. doi: 10.1177/0009922815598143. Epub 2015 Aug 2.

The Therapy Beneath the Fun: Medical Clowning During Invasive Examinations on Children.

Author information

1
The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, Israel University of Haifa, Israel shoshiofir@gmail.com.
2
University of Haifa, Israel The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
3
University of Haifa, Israel.
4
The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, Israel Hagalil Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University.
5
The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, Israel University of Haifa, Israel Hagalil Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The qualitative research presented here is part of a larger project on the significance of medical clowning during invasive examinations in children in the Department of Gastroenterology and the Center for the Sexually Abused in a hospital in Israel. It investigated what makes up the essence of medical clowning, what skills and techniques are used by medical clowns, and whether their work contains therapeutic elements.

METHODS:

A total of 9 children undergoing invasive examinations and 9 of their accompanying parents participated in semistructured interviews, which were analyzed using a thematic analysis methodology assisted by an Atlas-ti software program.

RESULTS:

The interviews revealed that the medical clowning intervention during invasive examinations was essentially therapeutic, with the clown using theatrical and clowning tools to incorporate therapeutic elements such as empowerment, reversal of role, reframing, and building a therapeutic alliance. In addition, during the invasive examinations, the medical clowning followed the model of brief crisis intervention therapy.

CONCLUSION:

The study advances the need to incorporate medical clowns as an integral part of medical teams performing invasive procedures and to include clowns in all stages of the hospital visit when children undergo invasive examinations.

KEYWORDS:

child sexual abuse; invasive examination; medical clowning; pediatrics; therapy

PMID:
26239920
DOI:
10.1177/0009922815598143
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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