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Anthony J. Janetti Inc.
This study attempted to answer the question, "Do nurses perceive coping kits to be effective at meeting the needs of hospitalized children with developmental disabilities who are at increased risk for challenging behaviors?" A cross-sectional post-test survey study design was used, with a convenience sample of 24 registered nurses at a Midwestern free-standing children's hospital. A coping kit with simple communication cards, social script book, and distraction items (toys) was developed to enhance communication and distract children with developmental disabilities (including autism spectrum disorder) undergoing procedures in the hospital. A modified version of Hudson's (2006) intervention effectiveness survey was used to measure the nurse's perception of the effectiveness of the coping kit. Nurses perceived the coping kits to be effective for decreasing their patient's anxiety, calming the child's behavior, and increasing cooperation during procedures. The nurse can develop a plan of care that includes a coping kit to help gain cooperation with the hospitalized child with challenging behaviors.