Not Enough to Go Around: Statistical Analysis of Staffing of Child Life Programs

Caroline E. Greene, Georgia College and State University


Child life programs are gaining popularity and support in pediatric care as the field grows. However, healthcare is growing rapidly and child life programs are struggling to advocate for their place within pediatric care despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics defines child life as a necessity. This study seeks to answer the question: How does the level of pediatric care offered by a hospital affect the staffing of child life programs? The sample (N=154) hospital programs in this study offer varying levels of pediatric care. The independent variable is the level of pediatric care offered by hospitals, the dependent variables includes seven different staffing reports, and the control variables include demographics regarding bed size and percent budgets. Statistical analysis (ANOVA and ANCOVA) determined there is a statistically significant relationship between the level of pediatric care and staffing of child life programs. This relationship is impacted by the number of pediatric beds in a hospital. Future research should explore the relationship between adequate child life staffing and hospital revenue enhancement.

This research is needed to show whether or not enhanced hospital revenue is due to an increased census, which could be a result of customer satisfaction from properly staffing child life programs.