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The Effect of Preoperative Training and Therapeutic Play on Children’s Anxiety, Fear, and Pain

Buyuk, Esra Tural PhD; Bolişik, Bahire PhD

Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing: April/June 2015 - Volume 4 - Issue 2 - p 78–85
doi: 10.1097/JPS.0000000000000060
Original Article

Introduction The aim of the study is to determine the effectiveness of education and therapeutic play applied in the preoperational period to decrease the anxiety, fear, and pain levels of children in the postoperative period.

Methods This study is a quasi-experimental and cross-sectional research. Three hundred children aged 7–12 years and suitable for the research criteria, referred to two pediatric hospitals in the northern region of Turkey for surgery, are the sample of the study. Each group (control group, training group, and training + play group) was composed of 100 children (N = 300). The experimental (training and training + play) groups were administered training and play activities on the operation day before undergoing surgery. The training group was administered training with video records on things to do before the surgery, the operating room environment, postoperative room and care, and things to do at home. In the training + game group, the child was trained on the day of surgery, and the researcher helped him or her play with the toys selected by the child from the toy basket provided by the researcher.

Results In this study, 88.7% of the children are boys, and 76 % of them are male children referred to the hospital for circumcision. At the end of the research, compared with control group children, children in the groups that were prepared for the operation with education and with education together with therapeutic play displayed decreased levels of anxiety and fear. This result is statistically significant (p < .001).

Esra Tural Buyuk, PhD Assistant Professor, Health School, Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey.

Bahire Bolişik, PhD Assistant Professor, Health School, Ege University, İzmir, Turkey.

Ethical approval: Ethics committee approvals that are required to conduct the research were obtained from the universities and the hospitals. Upon explaining the subject and the aim of the research to the child and the mother who accepted to participate in the study, they were assured that they were at liberty to participate or not and that their personal information was not going to be disclosed to third parties. The questions of the child and the mother were answered, and their written and verbal consents were obtained before data collection.

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Esra Tural Buyuk, PhD, Samsun Health School, Ondokuz Mayıs University Kurupelit Campus, 55139 Atakum, Samsun, Turkey. E-mail:

Copyright © 2015 American Pediatric Surgical Nursing Association
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