Web site spotlight: Study finds multicolored scrubs brighten pediatric care

Nurse Leader Insider, April 20, 2009

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Hospitals can be a frightening place for children, creating a barrier of distrust nurses must work through to provide them with adequate care. Recently released studies, however, suggest nurses can do less scaring and more caring for their facility’s pediatric patients by brightening up their wardrobe.

A study published in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing examining the effect of multicolored, nonconventional attire, on hospitalized children found it improved children’s and parents’ perceptions of the nurses providing them care. These enhanced perceptions led to increased comfort for the pediatric patients and improved confidence among parents of the nurses’ abilities.

“Our goal was to understand the perception of nurses,” says Filippo Festini, BA, BSN, RN, lead author of the study and professor of nursing science at the University of Florence in Italy. “The importance of our findings is that the multicolored uniforms improve the relationship between the nurse and the child, and this helps obtain the child’s compliance to the treatment and reduce anxiety and fear.”

The study was conducted by Festini and his team of University of Florence researchers between July and September 2005 amongst children at Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence. The researchers surveyed 112 children—ranging from six to 16 years of age—before and after nurses on two pediatric hospital wards swapped their light blue, traditional scrub uniform for nonconventional attire inspired by children’s drawings collected throughout the country (you can view a picture of both uniforms here).

Editor’s note: This excerpt was adapted from the article, “Study finds multicolored scrubs brighten pediatric care” featured in The Reading Room on HCPro’s online resource center,

Do you need continuing education (CE) credits? Check out this month’s CE article on addressing health literacy or visit our archives and view a compilation of CE articles (marked with an asterisk).

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