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Play and video effects on mood and procedure behaviors in school-aged children visiting the pediatrician

This study examines how different types of activities, including medical play, typical play, and videos, affect the mood and behaviors of children visiting a pediatric office. Seventy-two school-aged children visiting a pediatrician’s office were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups: medical play, medical information video, typical play, and nonmedical information video control. Children completed a mood self-report measure and their behaviors were recorded during triage by nurses. The medical information video improved the school-aged children’s mood. Children in the medical information video displayed less difficult behaviors during procedures than the medical play group. The findings suggest that providing information about medical equipment through a video of a child engaging in medical play may benefit children visiting the pediatrician.