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The Use of Children's Stories in Nursing Care for Children

A nurse sitting with a young child in a cozy, child-friendly hospital room, reading a children's storybook together. The child looks engaged and comforted, while the nurse points to the illustrations in the book. The background features colorful decor, medical equipment subtly integrated into the environment, and bookshelves with various children's books, capturing the therapeutic use of children's stories in nursing care to provide emotional support and comfort to young patients.
Children's Stories in Nursing Care

The use of children's stories in nursing care has gained attention for its potential benefits in pediatric healthcare settings. An integrative review by Jeanine Porto Brondani and Eva Neri Rubim Pedro, published in 2018, explores how children's stories can be utilized in child care. This blog delves into the findings and implications of this review, highlighting the diverse applications and positive outcomes of incorporating storytelling into nursing care for children.

The primary objective of the review was to identify and analyze how children's stories can be effectively used in child care. The integrative literature review encompassed studies from databases between 2000 and 2018, including research articles in three languages. Sixteen articles met the inclusion criteria, providing a comprehensive overview of the use of children's stories in pediatric nursing care.

Key Findings

The review identified three main categories where children's stories are effectively utilized:

Stories in the Hospital Setting

Specialized Nursing Intervention

Stories in the Educational Dimension

Stories in the Hospital Setting

In hospital settings, children's stories serve as a valuable tool for reducing anxiety and fear associated with medical procedures. Storytelling can create a more relaxed and comforting environment, helping children to feel more at ease. By explaining medical procedures through stories, nurses can demystify complex processes and alleviate the child's apprehensions. This approach not only improves the child's experience but also facilitates smoother medical procedures and interventions.

Specialized Nursing Intervention

Children's stories can also be tailored to address specific health issues and therapeutic needs. Specialized nursing interventions using stories can help children understand their conditions and treatments in a more accessible and relatable manner. For instance, stories about characters managing chronic illnesses or undergoing similar treatments can provide children with a sense of solidarity and understanding. This method enhances the child's engagement and compliance with their care plan, promoting better health outcomes.

Stories in the Educational Dimension

Beyond the hospital and clinical settings, children's stories play a crucial role in health education. By incorporating health-related themes into stories, nurses and educators can teach children about hygiene, nutrition, and preventive care in an engaging way. These stories can be used in schools, community centers, and even at home, making health education more accessible and enjoyable for children. The narrative format helps in reinforcing important health messages and encourages children to adopt healthy behaviors.

Benefits of Using Children's Stories in Nursing Care

The integrative review highlighted several benefits of using children's stories in nursing care, including:

Strengthening Bonds: Storytelling fosters a stronger connection between nurses, children, and their families. This bond is crucial for effective communication and trust, which are essential for successful healthcare delivery.

Reducing Anxiety: Stories can significantly reduce anxiety and stress in children undergoing medical treatments. A calmer child is more cooperative and better able to cope with medical interventions.

Encouraging Participation: When children see characters in stories actively participating in their care, they are more likely to engage in their own healthcare routines. This participation can lead to better adherence to treatment plans and improved health outcomes.

Promoting Health Education: Stories are an effective medium for delivering health education messages. They make complex health concepts understandable and memorable for children, promoting long-term healthy habits.

The use of children's stories in nursing care is a promising, low-cost strategy that offers numerous benefits. Despite its advantages, this approach is still in its early stages of implementation within the nursing profession. There is a need for further research and development to optimize storytelling techniques and integrate them more widely into pediatric care practices.


Incorporating children's stories into nursing care for children provides a multifaceted tool that enhances emotional well-being, promotes health education, and strengthens the caregiver-child relationship. As evidenced by the integrative review, this approach holds significant potential for improving pediatric healthcare outcomes. By embracing storytelling as a care intervention, nurses can create a more supportive, engaging, and effective healthcare environment for children and their families.


Brondani, J. P., & Pedro, E. N. R. (2018). The use of children's stories in nursing care for the child: an integrative review. Revista Brasileira de Enferm


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