O impacto das visitas dos Doutores Palhaços na adaptação de crianças e adolescentes com cancro hospitalizados

  • Helena Isabel de Brito Ramos (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Each year, approximately 400,000 children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 develop cancer. Children and adolescents hospitalized with oncological diseases can exhibit almost double the symptoms of children in outpatient care. Feeling sadness, pain, and nausea are among the most prevalent symptoms that cause the most suffering. Therefore, the present research aimed to explore the impact of visits by Clown Doctors on the adaptation of hospitalized children/adolescents with cancer. It was a quantitative experimental study involving 30 children, 18 males (60%), and 12 females (40%), diagnosed with cancer and hospitalized at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology of Lisbon Francisco Gentil (IPO). Participants completed the research protocol and were assessed at two points in time, before and after the Clown Doctors' visits. The results showed a positive change in perceptions regarding hospitalization, with a decrease in nervousness, sadness, irritability, worry, fear, and perceived difficulty in being in the hospital. Concerning adaptation to hospitalization, a reduction in all indicators (pain, fatigue, worry, fear, sadness, and anger) was observed after the Clown Doctors' visits. In conclusion, this study allowed us to observe an overall positive impact on adaptation to hospitalization after interaction with Clown Doctors, extending beyond psychological symptoms to encompass physical symptoms as well. It clarified the perspective of children and adolescents regarding hospitalization and the intervention of Clown Doctors, as well as provided a detailed characterization of the coping strategies used by the sample and their association with how they deal with hospitalization. This research stands out as an introductory contribution, highlighting the need for further investigations in this area due to the benefits offered by the interaction of Clown Doctors with children.
Date of Award17 Nov 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorBárbara Nazaré (Supervisor)


  • Children/adolescents
  • Cancer
  • Perception of hospitalization
  • Adaptation to hospitalization
  • Clown Doctors


  • Mestrado em Psicologia do Bem-Estar e Promoção da Saúde

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