Effect of Therapeutic Play Methods on Hospitalized Children in Turkey: A Systematic Review
1Pediatric Oncology, Nursling and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, İzmir Health Science Faculty Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, İzmir, Turkey
2Department of Pediatric Nursing, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Health Science Faculty, Muğla, Turkey
3Department of Nursing, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Fethiye Health Science Faculty, Muğla, Turkey
J Clin Pract Res 2020; 42(2): 127-131 DOI: 10.14744/etd.2019.94940
Full Text PDF


Objective: This systematic review aims to examine the effect of therapeutic play methods on hospitalized children in Turkey.

Materials and Methods: Medline/PubMed, ScienceDirect, YÖK (higher education institution) National Thesis Center, Ovid, Web of Science, Wiley Online Library, Turkey Clinics, and Google Academic databases were searched for relevant data from 2009–2019 using the keywords therapeutic play, play therapy, child, and pediatrics. Ultimately, 36 studies published in English and Turkish conducted in 2006–2018, which reported the impact of game methods and whose full text can be reached, were included herein. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and Meta-Analysis Protocols 2015 guideline and Patient, Intervention, Comparison, Outcomes, Study Design model were used in analyzing the studies.

Results: Among the studies included herein, 25 were randomized controlled trials, seven were semi-experimental studies, two were qualitative and quantitative mixed pattern studies, one was a semi-experimental and cross-sectional study, and one was a case–control study. Our findings showed that distraction cards have been the most frequently used therapeutic game method, with durations varying between 3 min and 1 h depending on the attempt, and that therapeutic play has mostly been utilized during the bloodletting process. Moreover, our results revealed that therapeutic play generally reduces pain, anxiety, and fear and increases the child’s adaptation to the hospital environment.

Conclusion: The present review showed that therapeutic play among hospitalized children in Turkey was effective in relieving pain and anxiety and helped them adapt to the hospital environment. These results suggest that therapeutic play may aid medical personnel during painful procedures and throughout the hospitalization process.