This article explores children’s experiences of hospital admissions through their poetry and creative writing and assesses the validity of this medium compared to other methods of evaluation. Pediatric patient experiences of hospital and their effects on children have been studied in various ways and there have been stepwise changes throughout the past century, matching the overall changes of medical care from paternalistic to patient centered. 17 poems were analyzed from children aged 6-13 years old (median 10) for recurrent themes whilst admitted to a large tertiary hospital in the north of England. Children frequently wrote about attacks on their senses, missing friends and family as well as their interactions with hospital staff. Other aspects described by the children included invasive procedures, difficulty with sleep, and their opinions of hospital food. Not all things were described in a negative way, with positivity surrounding play areas, meeting new peers and the availability of play therapists. Children’s voices are often lost in the hospital setting and it is of vital importance that they are heard so that their care can be optimized and lessen any damaging effects that traumatic experiences have on them. The results of this article match those of previous investigations and show creative writing can be used as a patient experience analysis tool.

Experience Framework

This article is associated with the Innovation & Technology lens of The Beryl Institute Experience Framework (https://www.theberylinstitute.org/ExperienceFramework).