Influence of Therapeutic Play on the anxiety of hospitalized school-age children: Clinical trial

ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate the effects of Dramatic Therapeutic Play (DTP) technique on the degree of anxiety in hospitalized school-age children. Method: Randomized clinical trial performed in two hospitals ofSão Paulo, between May and October 2015. The intervention consisted of the application of DTP and the outcome was evaluated through the Child Drawing: Hospital (CD: H) instrument. The Wilcoxon-Mann Whitney, Corrected t, Fisher’s exact and Chi-square tests were used in the analysis. Statistical significance was set at 5%. Results: In all, 28 children participated in the study. The majority of children (75%) had a low anxiety score, with a mean CD: H score of 73.9 and 69.4 in the intervention and control groups respectively, and with no significant difference. Conclusion: Children submitted to DTP had the same degree of anxiety as those in the control group. However, it is suggested that new studies be performed with a larger number of children in different hospitalization scenarios.