Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics

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COMSEP Meeting in Denver, CO

Poster Presentation:


A RANDOMIZED, PRSOPECTIVE STUDY TO EVALUATE THE EFFICACY OF A NOVEL PROGRAM IN MAGIC THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION FOR PRE-CLINICAL MEDICAL STUDENTS

Authors:

Harrison D. Pravder, BS, Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital, Stony Brook, NY, David J. Elkin, MD, Stony Brook Children's, Maribeth B. Chitkara, MD, Stony Brook Children's


Background:

Pediatric patients and their families often experience increased psychological discomfort during hospitalization. We developed a novel magic therapy curriculum to teach pre-clinical medical students basic magic tricks as a tool to build rapport with patients and alleviate their discomfort. The curriculum facilitates actively engaging students in direct patient care early in their medical education.

Objective:

 

  1. To describe the development of an educational program for pre-clinical medical students utilizing magic therapy with pediatric inpatients.
  2. To assess the therapeutic benefits of magic therapy and its impact on patient and parent anxiety.
Methods:

MagicAid Curriculum:

Student magicians received basic magic training in two 1-hour sessions led by senior MagicAid medical student magic therapists.  Students were taught how to perform age-appropriate tricks for patients and families and how to teach the tricks back to their patients. 

Therapeutic Impact Assessment:

Patients aged 5-16 years admitted to a pediatric unit at a university hospital and their respective caretaker were eligible for inclusion. 68 patient-caregiver pairs were randomized to magic therapy or standard services. The anxiety of children was measured using a dual self-report survey model with validated tools before and after  therapy sessions. Children received either the FACES2 scale and Venham Picture Test3 (ages 5-10) or the FACES scale and Short State-Trait Anxiety Inventory4 (sSTAI) (ages 11-16). Parental anxiety was measured using the sSTAI only.

 

Results:

Patient anxiety levels pre- and post-magic therapy were 1.53±0.29 and 0.97±0.15 (mean±standard error (SE), N=37). Anxiety levels in the control group were 1.15±0.24 and 1.25±0.25 (pre- and post-±SE, N=31).  For caregivers, pre- and post-therapy anxiety levels were 3.02±0.19 and 2.13±0.15 (mean±SE, N=32). Anxiety levels in the caregiver control group were 2.47±0.16 and 2.34±0.17 (pre- and post±SE, N=28).

Discussion:

We conclude that the development of a magic therapy program was feasible and a positive addition to the pre-clinical medical school curriculum.  The addition of these services to existing therapy during an inpatient hospitalization is also an effective intervention for improving patient and parent state anxiety. We encourage the implementation of magic therapy programs in medical school curricula to encourage student development and facilitate early clinical experience.

References

 

  1. Kirkby, R. J., & Whelan, T. A. (1996). The effects of hospitalization and medical procedures on children and their families. Journal of Family Studies2(1), 65-77.
  2. Buchanan, H. & Niven, N. Validation of a Facial Image Scale to assess child dental anxiety. Int. J. Paediatr. Dent. 12, 47–52 (2002).
  3. Venham, L., Bengston, D. & Cipes, M. Children’s Response to Sequential Dental Visits. J. Dent. Res. 56, 454–459 (1979).
  4. Marteau, T. M. & Bekker, H. The development of a six-item short-form of the state scale of the Spielberger State—Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Br. J. Clin. Psychol. 31, 301–306 (1992).