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More than just clowns - Clown Doctor rounds and their impact for children, families and staff


Ford, K and Courtney-Pratt, H and Tesch, L and Johnson, C, More than just clowns - Clown Doctor rounds and their impact for children, families and staff, Journal of Child Health Care, 18, (3) pp. 286-296. ISSN 1367-4935 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/1367493513490447


Admission to hospital is recognised as a difficult time for children and families. This study explored clown doctor activities in an acute paediatric setting and the impact their activities have on children, their families, other health professionals and clown doctors themselves. We used observation, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with children and parents and staff and clown doctors and results provide a rich description of the work of clown doctors. The major themes were 'the encounter - in the moment' of the interaction of the child and the clown doctor and 'beyond the encounter'. The findings show that the impact of clown doctor visits is experienced beyond the immediate interaction, and this has not been clearly articulated in previous studies. This study highlights the multifaceted and complex nature of the work of the clown doctors and the high level of skill required as they modify and interpret play, activities and environment based on individual need and response.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:clown doctors, hospitalised children, humour, play, therapeutic care
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Neonatal and child health
UTAS Author:Ford, K (Dr Karen Ford)
UTAS Author:Courtney-Pratt, H (Dr Helen Courtney-Pratt)
ID Code:98270
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2015-02-10
Last Modified:2018-03-29

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