Project Title

Attitudes of Child Life Specialists Towards Telehealth

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Suma Mallavarapu

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Telehealth is the use of virtual platforms to facilitate interactions between patients and medical providers. Telehealth use has increased in recent years, and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Studying attitudes of medical providers towards telehealth is an important first step to effectively provide these services. Previous researchers have studied attitudes of physicians towards telehealth, but none have surveyed Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS). CCLS provide coping strategies and support for children in medical settings (hospitals, rehab centers, etc.). The main goal of this study was to understand attitudes of CCLS towards telehealth and how they used telehealth during the pandemic. We collected data on 63 CCLS via an online survey posted to the Association of Child Life Professionals forum in August and September 2020. Independent-samples t-tests were conducted to compare participants who had provided telehealth services and those who had not. We also collected data on level of exposure to telehealth, satisfaction with patient progress as a result of telehealth services, platforms used, challenges, and perceived benefits. Since the pandemic began, there was an increase in the use of telehealth among CCLS. The majority of participants agreed that telehealth in child life would facilitate job duties and communication among providers, help patients stay better informed, increase service speed, provide more comprehensive healthcare services, and improve tracking of patient status. Our findings highlight the importance of telehealth in child life during times of isolation and give us a better understanding of these services which are critical to children and their families.

Project Type

Event

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Attitudes of Child Life Specialists Towards Telehealth

Telehealth is the use of virtual platforms to facilitate interactions between patients and medical providers. Telehealth use has increased in recent years, and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Studying attitudes of medical providers towards telehealth is an important first step to effectively provide these services. Previous researchers have studied attitudes of physicians towards telehealth, but none have surveyed Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS). CCLS provide coping strategies and support for children in medical settings (hospitals, rehab centers, etc.). The main goal of this study was to understand attitudes of CCLS towards telehealth and how they used telehealth during the pandemic. We collected data on 63 CCLS via an online survey posted to the Association of Child Life Professionals forum in August and September 2020. Independent-samples t-tests were conducted to compare participants who had provided telehealth services and those who had not. We also collected data on level of exposure to telehealth, satisfaction with patient progress as a result of telehealth services, platforms used, challenges, and perceived benefits. Since the pandemic began, there was an increase in the use of telehealth among CCLS. The majority of participants agreed that telehealth in child life would facilitate job duties and communication among providers, help patients stay better informed, increase service speed, provide more comprehensive healthcare services, and improve tracking of patient status. Our findings highlight the importance of telehealth in child life during times of isolation and give us a better understanding of these services which are critical to children and their families.