University of Toronto, Canada
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Psychiatry
Pediatric medical trauma (PMT) is a form of childhood trauma that includes the physical and psychological effects of injuries, pain and illness, as well as the experience of hospitalization, medical treatments and other procedures. The effects of PMT can trigger a range of mental health concerns such as acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. Yet few studies have explored resilience in children experiencing PMT, particularly from a child's perspective. Thus, this study will use semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences of ten to twelve English-speaking Specialized Orthopedic and Developmental Rehabilitation (SODR) inpatients aged 6-12 at a children’s rehabilitation hospital located in Toronto, Ontario. The four main research questions to be explored are: 1) In what ways do children consider their medical experiences traumatic, or not? (2) How do children understand resiliency? (3) In what ways do children perceive themselves as resilient, or not? (4) What factors promote and inhibit resiliency? The interviews will be recorded and transcribed verbatim, then analyzed phenomenologically to better understand the lived experiences of child participants. The findings of the study will be used to inform future clinical practice, as trauma work intersects with a variety of professions. Social workers are well positioned to organize, build connections and lead inter-professional teams that could benefit from a trauma-informed and resilience-based model. Therefore, using a strengths-based resiliency framework has the potential for direct positive effects for affected children, as well as for their families and other systems.
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