Development of a Pediatric Educational Tool: Helping Burns Heal…An Adventure for Kids With Burns

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IntroductionAge-appropriate information through education is a valuable and important resource for the psychosocial adjustment of patients with pediatric burns and their families. This particular tool was created for patients 5–12 years old. Children of this age are able to process more information about their experience, ask questions, and seek information. In this age range, they also tend to be more anxious regarding the sequence and sensations during a procedure. The development of an age-appropriate educational tool was important to increase emotional coping and psychosocial adjustment for pediatric patients (Miller, Rodger, Kipping, & Kimble, 2011). Therefore, “Helping Burns Heal…An Adventure for Kids With Burns” was created to provide patients and their families information specifically about the experience at a tertiary mid-Atlantic burn center. It provides written, detailed information and activities about the burn center treatment, therapies, and discharge planning, which includes returning to school.MethodsInformation was gathered over a 2-year period starting in 2010 by one recreational therapist/child life specialist at the burn center by interviewing each discipline and observing procedures such as wound care, preparation and support for surgery, and therapy treatment sessions. “Helping Burns Heal…An Adventure for Kids With Burns” is written at a third-grade reading level and illustrated by medical illustrators. It was presented to the Health Care Hospital Education Committee as a request to create an educational tool and was given approval in June 2013.The approval process of the Patient Education Committee requires the Content Expert Worksheet to be validated by at least two content experts. For this tool, 25 content experts from the burn team were consulted on the need for the material, importance, and concerns about bias. On the basis of those staff recommendations, changes were made to the educational tool. Field testing was the final step of the evaluation process. The committee recommends that at least five field testing guides be completed for approval; however, 25 patients and families were used to complete the field testing guide. “Helping Burns Heal…An Adventure for Kids With Burns” was later approved by the Patient Education Committee and available for use in October 2013; a Spanish version was made available in May 2015.ResultsPatients and families reported that this resource was helpful in answering questions related to the burn center: burn wound care, therapies, procedures, discharge planning, and aftercare. Families reported that the educational content and activities helped to increase their understanding of the information received during their admission. As of August 2015, this resource has been distributed to over 450 burn center pediatric patients and families.ConclusionsThis resource has provided beneficial information with navigating the burn center, how it functions, and the expectations to both pediatric inpatients and outpatients as reported by their families. Having a similar educational resource for older pediatric patients, young adults, and adults would be equally as beneficial, perhaps developed on a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level.Applicability of Research to PracticeThis educational tool answers many common questions about being a patient in the burn center. A resource specific for pediatric patients can be used to assist with understanding and coping of the injury and treatment during hospitalization and in the outpatient setting.

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