This paper presents a qualitative study aimed at exploring the role of healthcare professionals in hospitalized children’s emotional experiences. Twenty-seven children and adolescents from 6 to 15 years old admitted to the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology ward of an Italian hospital participated in the study. Each participant was asked to talk about an emotional experience of happiness, anger, sadness and fear, felt in the presence of a doctor or nurse on the ward. The emotional tales were coded and analyzed qualitatively. The results showed that all the emotions considered were experienced when the staff was present, nurses in particular. Doctors and nurses played a role of active participants, encouraging children’s emotions, especially for happy events. More research is needed to clarify the role of the staff in supporting children to cope with negative emotions.
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