Doctor, is my Teddy Bear Okay? The "Teddy bear hospital" as a method to reduce children's fear of hospitalization

Yuval H. Bloch, Asaf Toker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Children report various types of fear in the context of hospitalization, such as fear of separation from the family, having injections and blood tests, staying in the hospital for a long time, and being told "bad news" about their health. Objectives: To examine the effects of the "Teddy Bear Hospital" method on preschool children's fear of future hospitalization. Methods: The study group comprised 41 preschool children aged 3-6.5 years (mean 5.1 ± 0.7 years), and 50 preschool children, age matched and from a similar residential area, served as the control group. Assessment included a simple one-item visual analog scale of anxiety about hospitalization. This was assessed individually one day prior to the intervention and again a week after the intervention in both groups. Results: While baseline levels of anxiety were not different between groups [t(89) = 0.4, NS], children in the "Teddy Bear Hospital" group reported significantly lower levels of anxiety than the control group at follow-up. Conclusions: Our results indicate that by initiating a controlled pain-free encounter with the medical environment in the form of a "Teddy Bear Hospital," we can reduce children's anxiety about hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-599
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • "Teddy bear hospital"
  • Children's fear
  • Hospitalization
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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