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Credentials Display and Country

Rachel Bambrick, MS, OTR/L; Carole Dennis, ScD, OTL, FAOTA; Kimberly Wilkinson, PhD, OTR/L

Abstract

Background: This study examined how occupational therapists use play in their treatments when working with children with life-threatening conditions.

Methods: This narrative qualitative study used an interpretive phenomenological approach to data analysis. Three semi-structured interviews were conducted with each therapist; interviews were designed to gather an understanding of how these occupational therapists work with children with life-threatening conditions and the ways in which they use play.

Results: Four major themes arose from the interviews along with two sub-themes. The four major themes were: play as a means, playful moments, condition-dependent limitations, and reimbursement. The two sub-themes were the importance of play and allowing for more play at end of life.

Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest that while therapists value play as an occupation, they are typically using it as a means to another end in therapy with children with life-threatening conditions. In addition, therapists who incorporate play into treatment when working with children with life-threatening conditions face many challenges, including the limitations of insurance reimbursement and the confines of practicing in a hospital-based setting.

Comments

The authors report no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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