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Child life specialists' perspectives on collaboration with schools

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posted on 22.05.2021, 12:13 by Sarah Pershick
As paediatric patients transition from the hospital environment, there is a lack to programs and supports to assist in this transitional phase. The child life specialist plays a unique role within the interprofessional team of professionals in the hospital. They provide paediatric patients and their families with psychosocial services such as age and developmentally appropriate coping mechanisms. A mixed-method study was conducted through qualitative semi-structured interviews, and a survey to explore how child life managers and frontline child life specialists perceived their role expanding outside of the hospital. five themes emerged from questions asked in the interviews and surveys. These themes include: role perceptions, collaboration with health care professionals, collaboration with school professionals, challenges to collaboration and recommendations for the role expansion. From these five themes, thirteen sub-themes emerged spontaneously. The findings of this research study indicate that there is a consensus from both child life managers and specialists on the value of expanding their role beyond the hospital. although considered an essential service in some hospitals, further steps need to be taken to ensure child life specialists feel that their services are validated in the hospitals.





Master of Arts


Early Childhood Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Donna Koller