A problem-solving intervention for children with persistent asthma: a pilot of a randomized trial at a pediatric summer camp.
ABSTRACT Pediatric summer camps are emerging as a means to increase social support and improve children's attitudes about their chronic illness. Because of the high rate of camp attendance, it may be feasible to implement interventions within that setting; however, it has yet to be determined what components of camp are beneficial.
The objective of this pilot study was to determine the efficacy of a problem-solving intervention targeting disease management in improving psychosocial functioning of children with persistent asthma, over and above the benefits of participation in a pediatric summer camp.
Fifty campers were randomly assigned to receive camp plus a nightly problem-solving intervention activity or camp as usual. Changes in self-reported asthma knowledge and problem-solving skills and self- and parent-reported child self- and social competence health-related quality of life were assessed thrice: before camp, on the last day of camp, and 3-months post-camp.
There were no significant differences between the problem-solving intervention group and the camp as usual group in change across psychosocial variables from before camp to last day of camp or before camp to 3-months post-camp. Increases in asthma knowledge and problem-solving were found 3-months post-camp when groups were combined.
Although support was found for improvements in disease knowledge and problem-solving skills after camp participation, there were no identified benefits to the problem-solving intervention. Children with asthma who participated in camp were functioning at a high level in terms of knowledge, problem-solving, and social and self-competence, suggesting that interventions may be more effective if targeted to patients with identified problems with disease management.
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