Hospital passport scheme reduces anxiety in children, research shows

Researchers at NHS Education for Scotland have found the Hospital Passport scheme helps children in hospital.
passport for hospitals

A scheme developed by psychologists to help children feel more involved in their hospital care can play a valuable role in reducing anxiety, research has shown.

passport for hospitals
The passport scheme is proving successful for hospitals

The Hospital Passport scheme was developed at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow and rolled out across Scotland in 2013 with funding from Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity and NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

Children can use the passport as they travel around the hospital, collecting a variety of stickers or stamps as they go through different treatments.

App version

An app version of the Hospital Passport has also been rolled out to appeal to older children and teenagers.

Researchers from NES surveyed 77 paediatric staff who have been using the passport kits regularly.

The team found that 86% of staff said the kits helped parents and carers encourage their children to use psychological coping strategies, while 73% said the passports helped children to communicate with staff.

Additionally, 42% of hospital staff surveyed believed that the Hospital Passports could reduce the amount of time needed to prepare children for procedures.

'Proven success'

Psychologist Dr Janie Donnan, programme lead for paediatric psychology at NES and co-creator of the Hospital Passport Coping Kit, said: ‘The passport has proven to be a great success, with parents and children as well as healthcare staff.

‘The feedback we received showed that it is helping staff manage children’s distress more effectively and generally promoting communication in how best to support children and involve them in their own healthcare, leading to better outcomes.’