Soaringwords Empirical Research to Measure the Well-being of Hospitalized Children
Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Arts and Humanities
Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Positive psychology interventions can potentially significantly enhance the quality of life for pediatric patients and their loved ones. This study was designed to empirically measure the impact of a positive intervention on the well-being of pediatric patients. In a one-time 30-60 minute session, 220 patients received an inspirational SoaringSuperhero® message and artwork (from a stranger) and then were invited to create a superhero message/artwork for someone else. Before and after, participants completed a questionnaire, compiled from reliable, accredited survey instruments, administered by hospital employees, Child Life Specialists, and hospital volunteers. For every emotion, both adolescents and children were significantly more positive and less negative. Findings suggest that these positive interventions should be part of pediatric healthcare to encourage patients to take active roles in their own healing and the healing of others. Future endeavors include expanding the study to other hospitals and testing the efficacy of other Soaringwords’ positive interventions. Altogether, this study suggests that the power of the Soaringwords’ intervention comes from impacting both physical and psychological systems in a measurable way to allow the child and his or her support system to SOAR (Somatic response, Outcomes, Agency, Reciprocity), despite the many challenges of illness.