Paediatric Medical Trauma and Resilience: A Scoping Review


Trauma and resilience

How to Cite

FurtadoJ. A. (2015). Paediatric Medical Trauma and Resilience: A Scoping Review . International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, 3(1), 52-71. Retrieved from


Objectives: The purpose of this scoping review was to explore current literature describing resilience in children who have experienced paediatric medical trauma (PMT), or the physical and psychological effects of accidental injuries, pain, illness, and/or other dysfunction as well as the corresponding experiences of hospitalization, medical treatments, and other procedures. This review is grounded by a social-ecological framework and was designed to inform social work practice, as well as other medical and allied health professions. Method: A systematic search was conducted utilizing methodical keywords from several databases. Results: Nine peer-reviewed studies and several chapters within one book were located and reviewed: four articles focused mainly on building theories and models within PMT, three examined interventions, and two examined risk and protective factors, with some overlap. Conclusion: Resilience in children experiencing medical trauma is high overall. Key findings included the use of child-centered perspectives, given the bias that knowledge and experience can impose on adults’ judgements. The field suffers from inconsistencies, and includes some populations that have been determined to be special cases within medical trauma (i.e. acquired brain injuries), thus, further study is required to distinguish this topic. Risk and protective factors remain somewhat elusive, though exhibited importance within the social-ecological model. Implication: The review justifies a child-centered model to support resilience in children experiencing medical trauma. A trauma-informed approach that seeks to build on a child’s strengths while simultaneously scaffolding support from significant sources (i.e. parents and peers) is critical for improving outcomes.