When a doctor diagnoses a child with an illness or treats an injury, both the child and their family will experience a range of emotions. Some may be angry. Some may be sad. Many will be overwhelmed. In the weeks following the injury or diagnosis, while most will learn to cope with the "new normal" of their medical condition, all patients could benefit from additional support. Finding evidence based coping for patients can be a tall task. For that reason, researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Kentucky Children’s Hospital developed The Cellie Coping Kit.
Affectionately known as "Cellie", this kit was designed for children aged 6–12 years and their parents to promote coping and resilience. It draws from evidenced based coping techniques, such as relaxation and social support seeking, to help children and families cope with a range of stressors related to the medical condition, recovery and treatment, treatment side effects, and challenges related to school and peers. The Cellie Coping Kit includes:
- Cellie is a stuffed toy used for engagement. Cellie is also integrated into many of the coping tips
- Coping Cards are a set of cards that provide children with evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral coping techniques for a range of common stressors specifically related to their medical condition.
- The Caregiver Book offers strategies for parents to help children cope with their medical condition, as well as advice for dealing with parents’ own challenges (e.g., caring for siblings, working with the medical team).
One of the most versatile aspects of the Cellie Coping Kit is the ability to use it in any setting: at home, in the hospital, with mental health professionals, etc. For example, a nurse can demonstrate a procedure, like a needle stick, on the toy, or a psychologist can talk through stressors and coping tips with the child.