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    Outcomes associated with participation in a therapeutic recreation camping programme for children from 15 European countries: Data from the ‘Barretstown Studies’

    Kiernan, Gemma and Gormley, Michael and MacLachlan, Malcolm (2004) Outcomes associated with participation in a therapeutic recreation camping programme for children from 15 European countries: Data from the ‘Barretstown Studies’. Social Science & Medicine, 59 (5). pp. 903-913. ISSN 02779536

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    In recent years, specialised camping programmes, based largely on the premise of therapeutic recreation, have emerged as a form of intervention for children with chronic illnesses, and their siblings. Although these programmes are proliferating, little systematic evaluation of their outcomes has been undertaken, particularly within a European context. The aim of this research was to investigate the symptom and psychosocial outcomes of The Barretstown Gang Camp therapeutic recreation programme in Ireland, a programme aimed at European children with chronic illnesses and their siblings, in the short and longer term. Measures assessing children’s physical, psychological and social functioning, specifically their self-reported physical symptoms, affect, self-esteem and quality of life, were translated into 12 European languages and administered at 3 time periods: 2 weeks before each child participated in the programme (Time 1), 2 weeks after participation (Time 2) and at 6 months following participation (Time 3). Benefits were noted in their experience of physical symptoms, affect pertaining to physiological hyperarousal and quality of life in the short and longer term. Positive changes were also noted in relation to self-esteem as it pertains to global selfworth and physical attractiveness though these were, for the most part, in the longer term only and were preceded by adverse effects in the short term. While some of these positive changes were global, there were group differences based mostly on children’s age, and patient/sibling status and to a lesser extent on their nationality. However, no benefits were evident in many aspects of children’s functioning, either at a global or a group level, in the short and longer term. These findings clarify previous research and suggest that camping programmes have an important role to play as a complementary intervention in facilitating adjustment to chronic illness.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: UK; Camping programmes; Therapeutic recreation; Chronic illness; Psychosocial interventions; Child health;
    Academic Unit: Assisting Living & Learning,ALL institute
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 16432
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Malcolm MacLachlan
    Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2022 13:53
    Journal or Publication Title: Social Science & Medicine
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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