Story time makes sick children happily better after! Recounting tales to ill youngsters can help to ease their pain, study shows

故事时间让生病的孩子们更幸福地度过! 研究表明,向患病的小孩讲故事可以减轻他们的痛苦

Sick children in intensive care were read either stories or riddles as part of study


Analysis found the results of those told stories were twice as good as the others


Researchers hope the findings aim 'at the relief of human suffering' in hospitals

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Telling stories to sick children can ease their pain, a study has found.


Scientists recruited 81 children, aged between two and seven, who were in intensive care suffering from illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia.


Half of the group were read stories for up to 30 minutes, while the other half were told riddles.


Before and after each session, saliva was collected from each child to analyse levels of the hormones cortisol, which is related to stress, and oxytocin, which is lixed to feelings of empathy.


Telling stories to ill children can help ease their suffering, according to researchers from the D’or Institute for Research and Education in Brazil

巴西D 'or研究与教育研究所的研究人员称,给生病的孩子讲故事可以帮助减轻他们的痛苦(上图)
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Both stories and riddles reduced levels of cortisol and increased oxytocin. The children’s feelings of pain and discomfort were also lowered.


But in the storytelling group, the positive results were twice as good. Their oxytocin levels were boosted six-fold, while pain scores were reduced five-fold.


Lead author Guilherme Brockington, of the D’or Institute for Research and Education in Brazil, told the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal: ‘During storytelling, something happens.

巴西D’or研究与教育研究所的首席作者Guilherme Brockington在接受《美国国家科学院院刊》采访时表示:“在讲故事的过程中,会发生一些事情。

‘The child, through fantasy, can experience sensations and thoughts that transport him or her to another world, a place that is different from the hospital room and far from the aversive conditions.’


Half of the children in the study were told stories, while the other half were told riddles


During the study the children were able to choose which story they would be told, and were read to by a researcher one-on-one.

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Jorge Moll, who also led the research, said: ‘I consider this study to be one of the most important I have participated in, due to its simplicity, rigor, and potential direct impact on practices in the hospital environment, aiming at the relief of human suffering.

Jorge Moll也领导了这项研究,他说:“我认为这项研究是我参与的最重要的研究之一,因为它的简单、严格和潜在的直接影响在医院环境的实践,旨在减轻人类的痛苦。”

‘As it is a low-cost and highly safe intervention, it can potentially be implemented in the entire public system, once larger-scale studies verify its reproducibility and effectiveness.’


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