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A Clinician's Guide to Helping Children Cope and Cooperate with Medical Care

An Applied Behavioral Approach

Keith J. Slifer, Ph.D.

Publication Year: 2013

Keith J. Slifer, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, draws on practice and research to help health care practitioners provide better care for children with chronic conditions and children undergoing rehabilitation after traumatic injury or surgery. By better understanding the behavior, emotions, and developmental challenges of children, health care professionals in practice and in training can solve a range of problems, from getting a distressed child to cooperate with a physical examination or diagnostic test, to teaching a child to adhere to medical self-care. More than nine million children in the United States regularly visit health care professionals for treatment of chronic or recurrent health conditions. These children experience multiple doctors’ visits, trips to the Emergency Department, hospital admissions, anesthesia, surgery, medications, needle sticks, wound cleaning, seizures, nausea, vomiting, pain, and fear. While most of these children are developing typically in terms of their intellectual and cognitive functioning, many children with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities also require frequent medical care, and as chronic health conditions increase so do the chances of having developmental, learning, emotional, and behavioral problems. A Clinician's Guide to Helping Children Cope and Cooperate with Medical Care will benefit both health care professionals and children as practitioners aim to improve medical care and prevent the children’s behavior from disrupting clinics and distressing and frustrating health care workers and family caregivers. This book is for pediatric psychologists, pediatricians, family medicine practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurse specialists, pediatric subspecialists, and students in these fields—and for family members dedicated to helping their children cope with medical procedures and get the best possible medical care.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press


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pp. 1-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

The purpose of this book is to provide a resource for individuals who care for children with medical conditions. This includes parents and other family caregivers, as well as behavioral, mental health, medical and allied health professionals, paraprofessionals, and students. All of these individuals...

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CHAPTER 1. A Child’s Experience of Medical Settings and Health Care

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pp. 1-7

An estimated 9.3 million children in the United States are receiving treatment for a chronic or recurrent health condition,1 requiring them to be seen regularly by pediatricians, family medicine practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurse specialists, and pediatric subspecialists. The prevalence of...

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CHAPTER 2. Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Principles

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pp. 8-24

The information in this chapter applies to all populations of patients regardless of age, diagnosis, or developmental level. The chapter is devoted to an introduction of the fundamental terms, principles, and standards of evidence needed to understand and implement assessment and intervention...

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CHAPTER 3. Parent-Child Interactions in Medical Situations

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pp. 25-39

The information in this chapter applies primarily to children between 1 and 12 years of age, regardless of diagnosis or developmental level. However, the parent-child interaction patterns that develop during these younger ages can impact both parent and youth behavioral and emotional adjustment across...

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CHAPTER 4. Fundamentals of General Behavior Management for Parents and Other Caregivers

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pp. 40-57

The information in this chapter applies to all children and youth, but especially to those who are displaying challenging behaviors that occur during medical care for illness, injury, and related rehabilitation. As introduced in chapter 3, one of the roles required of parents, especially with younger children...

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CHAPTER 5. Helping Young, Developmentally Delayed, and Highly Anxious Children Cooperate with Routine Physical Examinations

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pp. 58-81

Routine medical evaluation and care are, or should be, common experiences for all children, beginning in infancy with well-child visits to monitor growth and development, to manage common childhood illnesses, and to administer required immunizations. All children receiving health care...

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CHAPTER 6. Helping Children, Parents, and Medical Caregivers Cope with Child Distress and Discomfort during Immunizations

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pp. 82-102

Routine immunizations are an essentially universal experience of infancy and early childhood. However, immunizations have special significance because for typically developing, healthy children, immunizations are the child’s earliest experience of iatrogenic pain. Given that in the United States...

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CHAPTER 7. Cooperation and Motion Control for Diagnostic Tests and Treatments

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pp. 103-137

Diagnostic tests such as X-rays, computerized tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, electroencephalograms (EEGs), polysomnography (PSG), and sonograms (ultrasound) require the child to assume a specified physical position and to hold still for the duration of...

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CHAPTER 8. Cooperation with Vision and Hearing Tests and Treatments

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pp. 138-160

The information in this chapter is relevant to infants, preschoolers, and early-school-age children, as well as all individuals with IDD. Sensory impairment in childhood may be part of a multiple-disability disorder or may occur in otherwise-healthy children. Severe sensory deficits in childhood...

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CHAPTER 9. Cooperation and Adherence with Breathing Treatments and Respiratory Assistance Technology

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pp. 161-184

Breathing disorders may occur in any child, adolescent, or adult, but several characteristics increase the risk that health-threatening breathing disorders will occur. Breathing disorders occur more frequently in individuals with IDD. Especially high risk groups include children with adenotonsillar...

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CHAPTER 10. Teaching Children to Swallow Pills and Capsules

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pp. 185-215

For the purposes of this chapter, compliance and cooperation will be used interchangeably to discuss the immediate behavior required for ingesting medication when presented. The term adherence will be used to refer to reliably taking medication over time according to the prescribed dosage...

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CHAPTER 11. Adherence with Oral Medication and Other Medical Self-Care

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pp. 216-243

Ingesting oral medication, conducting blood glucose tests, administering injections, performing breathing (e.g., nebulizer) treatments, wearing a breathing mask while sleeping, self-catheterization, and suctioning a tracheostomy are some of the many health care procedures with which...

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CHAPTER 12. Teaching Children with Chronic Medical Conditions to Cope with Repeated Needle Sticks and Other Painful Procedures

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pp. 244-277

This chapter addresses the specific needs of children of all ages who have chronic or recurrent medical conditions that require them to cooperate and cope with repeated painful medical procedures such as blood tests, injections, and placement of intravenous lines (IVs). Chapter 6 focused on...


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pp. 279-288

E-ISBN-13: 9781421411132
E-ISBN-10: 142141113X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781421411125
Print-ISBN-10: 1421411121

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 19 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2013