Document Type



This qualitative phenomenological study seeks to understand the use and perceived effectiveness of play interventions for patients with socio-emotional issues brought about by their treatment of pediatric cancer by exploring the perceptions of nine Certified Child Life Specialists and one Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who works with this population. Interviews, done over Zoom with each participant, were semi-structured, and between thirty minutes to an hour in length. Questions asked explored what socio-emotional issues they see develop in their patients throughout their treatment, and their perceived effectiveness of play in mitigating those socio-emotional issues. After transcription nof each interview analysis ensued. Following multiple rounds of coding, five core themes and five subthemes were identified and the essence of play interventions in pediatric oncology units emerged. The essence is best characterized as "trust is the foundation of coping"; highlighting that the rapport built between the clinician, child, and family opens the door for needs to be identified, coping skills to be taught, and for the clinician to empower the family in the hospital setting.


Social Work

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Leslie Sattler, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Beverly Lovett, Committee Member
Dr. Jibril Solomon, Committee Member