Background Hospital admission is a stressful and fearful experience for children. Several kind of non clinical interventions have shown to be effective in improving the quality of life of children during hospital stay.
Goal To survey the interventions performed in Italian Pediatrics Unit to improve children’s life during hospital stay.
Methods Cross-sectional study. The study was promoted by the Italian Cultural Association of Pediatricians (ACP) and by the Italian Society of Pediatric Nursing Science (SISIP). A 37-item online questionnaire was set up and an invitation to fill it in was sent by email using the two associations’ mailing lists.
Results Questionnaires regarding 111 pediatrics units were returned, out of an extimated total of 724 Italian Pediatrics Units (PU) (15.3%). 43% of PU have more than 50% of beds in 2-bed rooms. In 90.1% of PU walls are multicoloured or decorated with paintings. A school is available only in 47.7% PU. A “toy library” or playroom is present in 66.7% PU. Outdoors playgrounds are available in 37.8% PU. Reading aloud to children is performed in 29.7% PU, activities with animals in 13.5%. Play Volunteers operate in 80.2% of PU, Clown Doctors in 67.6%. In PU with more than 1500 admissions per year, single rooms and a playroom is present more frequently than in others (p 0.02 and p 0.03 respectively).
Discussion Although several non clinical interventions are available to reduce distress and anxiety in hospitalised children and to improve their quality of life, their diffusion in Italian Hospital still seems limited.