Reports on Patient Education and Perception of Safe Play for Children Receiving Cancer Treatments by Health Professionals

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, EdD, OTR/L

Thesis Advisor

Bonnie Napier-Tibere, EdD, OTR/L

Second Advisor

Stacy Frauwirth, MS, OTR/L


Children receiving cancer treatment undergo physical and emotional stress. The diagnosis of cancer creates a disruption in routines and roles and challenges an individual s identify. In the occupational therapy literature, play is often described as the primary occupation of childhood (Canadian Association Occupational Therapy, 1996), highlighting the importance of play as a developmental skill. For children receiving cancer treatments, play is typically affected in a negative manner. A descriptive study using a survey instrument was designed to describe health care professionals’ perception and education of safe play for children receiving cancer treatment. Nine health professionals comprised the sample from California Pacific Medical Center. Surveys were distributed during work hours. Descriptive statistics were used to describe safe play. The findings indicate that nurses feel play is very important for children receiving cancer treatments. Nurses also felt that play is very important as a coping skill for children receiving cancer treatments. The nature of cancer can disrupt play activities for children receiving cancer treatment.

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