Serious child illness and hospitalization can have a lasting negative impact on children and their families. Pediatric psychosocial care (PPC) approaches are implemented to promote child resilience within medical settings and to optimize quality of life for children affected by chronic health conditions. However, numerous opportunities remain to adopt best practices and enhance the well-being of children facing illness and hospitalization in the United States and globally. This paper situates contemporary approaches to PPC within their historical context, beginning in the early 20th century. Prominent theories that guide PPC professionals' work with hospitalized children and their families are reviewed, highlighting the practical implications of these theories for family systems-oriented practitioners working with hospitalized children. An approach to integrating theory with practice for the eclectic practitioner is illustrated using a hypothetical case study. Finally, the paper concludes with recommendations for building the evidence base for PPC through theory-driven research and quality improvement initiatives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science