The Impact of Specialized Family Camps On Quality of Life and Hope in Families Who Are Coping with Pediatric Cancer

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Title: The Impact of Specialized Family Camps On Quality of Life and Hope in Families Who Are Coping with Pediatric Cancer
Author: Cook, Ellen Claire
Abstract: BACKGROUND : Over the past several decades , specialized summer camps for children with cancer have been shown to have various positive results in those who attend . Family camps have become increasingly popular over the past few years , but the efficacy of family camps for specialized populations has not been well established through research . In addition , few studies have addressed the benefits of the camp experience over time , especially in regard to its impact on quality of life . The aim of this study was to learn whether or not the family camp experience increases the quality of life of families with a child with cancer , and whether or not these changes are maintained after the camp experience ends . In addition , this study examined the impact of camp on levels of hope , and analyzed how hope and social support contribute to the quality of life of those who attend camp . SUBJECTS : A total of 66 families participated in this study . Participants include parents , cancer patients or survivors , and siblings . Thirty -nine families who attended a specialized weekend camp participated in the study , and a control sample of 27 families who did not attend camp was recruited as well . METHOD : Questionnaire data was collected at three time points : pre -camp , post -camp , and a three -month follow up . Measures included a demographic questionnaire , age appropriate versions of the PedsQLTM 4 .0 Generic Core Scales , the PedsQLTM 2 .0 PedsQLTM 2 .0 Family Impact Module , the Hope Scale (Adult and Child versions ) , the Young Children’s Hope Scale , and a brief follow -up questionnaire . RESULTS : Quality of life did not significantly increase in the camp group in the overall family unit . However , quality of life was shown to be significantly higher in the camp group than the control group at the beginning and end of camp . Siblings demonstrated a significant increase in quality of life when examined separately from the family unit . No significant changes in hope or differences in hope between groups were observed . DISCUSSION : Though this study did not demonstrate the efficacy of family camp as predicted , it did show that individual family members are impacted by camp in different ways . Camp has been show to benefit siblings in particular , which is indicated by improvement in quality of life , hope , and social support in this population . This study also shows that different results may be found using different measures of the same variables . [Keywords : camp , quality of life , hope , family , cancer]
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 .5 /1120
Date: 2012-08-15

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The Impact of Specialized Family Camps On Quality of Life and Hope in Families Who Are Coping with Pediatric Cancer. UT Southwestern School of Health Professions. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 .5 /1120 .

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