Reconsidering clown practices in children’s hospitals

Reconsidering clown practices in children’s hospitals


Have you hung out with Dr. Flap and Nurse Flutter lately?  Consider participating in our study!

We're looking to explore the silly and “foolish” ways therapeutic clowns and kids play together in the hospital and how kids experience this playing.


Barbara Gibson, PhD, MSc, BMR(PT),Dr. Julia Gray, Helen Donnelly, C.J. Curran

Who can participate

We are looking for kids who:

  • Are clients on the inpatient unit
  • Have engaged with therapeutic clowns
  • Aged 5-21
  • Speak English (to participate in an optional interview)

What's Involved

Child and youth participants will play and hang out with therapeutic clowns as they normally would – we will observe and videotape the ways they play and interact together.  There will be one to five observations over the course of six weeks. 

There is also the option to be interviewed, where we will ask the child/youth what they think of the clowns.  The interview will be up to one hour and be scheduled at a convenient time and location for the child/youth.  


March 2019

Interested in participating

If you are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact Research Coordinator Bhavnita Mistry at (416) 425- 6220 ex 3403, or with your interest, and she will get back to your shortly. Contacting us does not obligate you or your child to participate in the study.

Funding Agency

This study has been funded by Dr. Barbara Gibson’s Chair: Bloorview Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Childhood Disability Studies

Learn more about this study