Enhancing resilience in hospitalized children and adolescents


Enhancing resilience in hospitalized children and adolescents


Ihle EC


Journal Of The American Academy Of Child And Adolescent Psychiatry




hospitalized child; Anxiety; biofeedback; California; Child; clinical psychology; Comorbidity; complication; distress syndrome; Female; Hospitalization; Human; Male; Mental Health; music; pain; Palliative therapy; pet therapy; PostTraumatic Stress Disorder; psychiatrist; psychosocial care; Socialization; wellbeing


Objectives: This presentation will describe a collaborative intervention that can enhance resilience in hospitalized patients when they are struggling with the emotional sequelae of their medical illness. The presentation will discuss the specialty services at the University of California, San Francisco, Benioff Children's Hospital (UCSF BCH) that work cooperatively to support salutogenesis (the origin of health), in contrast to pathogenesis. The efficacy of our multidisciplinary approach will be demonstrated through descriptions of changes in patients' mental status and subjective reports of distress from patients and parents. Methods: This seminar will present our multidisciplinary approach to enhancing well-being and supporting resilience. The presentation will describe the collaboration of several complementary specialties. Primary source material and anecdotal reports from clinical cases will be presented from these medical, psychological, and psychosocial disciplines. Results: At UCSF BCH, specialists play complementary roles in the effort to support the emotional well-being of hospitalized patients. The child and adolescent consultation-liaison psychiatrist provides insight into psychiatric comorbidities that may be contributing to distress and interfere with coping. Pharmacologic interventions target the symptoms of these comorbid illnesses. Pediatric palliative care physicians address the physiologic symptoms endured by children with serious medical illnesses. Clinical psychologists help to identify the feedback loop between anxiety and pain and enhance a sense of safety through empirically validated interventions for anxiety and traumatic stress. The Child Life Specialist's role includes preparation for procedures; creating and implementing a coping plan for individual procedures and overall hospitalization through art and music; and providing psychosocial support through socialization, medical play, pet therapy, and biofeedback. Conclusions: Diverse disciplines can work collaboratively to support the overall well-being of the hospitalized child and his/her family members by effectively promoting coping. This multidisciplinary approach to enhancing resilience enables children to thrive even if their illnesses are life-limiting.


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Citation List Month

March 2018 List



Ihle EC, “Enhancing resilience in hospitalized children and adolescents,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed September 25, 2023, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/14594.