The value of asthma camps for young people in Victoria, Australia

Lord, A, St, Leger L, Ridge, Damien T. and Elisha, D (2001) The value of asthma camps for young people in Victoria, Australia. Contemporary Nurse, 11 (2-3). pp. 133-141. ISSN 1037-6178

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This paper investigates the impact of the Asthma Foundation of Victoria's educational camp program on children's knowledge of asthma and its management, their feelings about asthma, and their attitudes toward physical and social activities. Parents' observations of changes in their child's behaviour and attitudes are also reported. This research was descriptive and applied. It used questionnaires at four stages (directly pre- and post-camp, three–four months and ten–15 months post-camp) of an asthma education camp program to assess child asthma knowledge levels. At three months post-camp, parental observations of children's attitudes and behaviours were assessed using a questionnaire. Children's feelings toward asthma were also assessed using a questionnaire pre- and post-camp. The children surveyed displayed a better knowledge of asthma and how to manage their condition immediately after the camp. This knowledge tended to return to pre-camp levels after ten months. The children also reported less anxiety and fear about their illness, a greater sense of wellbeing, and more confidence in participating in a whole range of physical and social activities. Many parents also noted positive changes in their children in terms of activities and asthma management at three months post-camp. Although there were limitations to sustaining knowledge gained in the asthma camping program, the camping experience provided a benefit for children in terms of promoting their mental and social wellbeing. When readers consider modernising asthma education (e.g. shorter camps, education in everyday social settings such as schools), they need to consider retaining the key ingredients of the more traditional camping program that supports good asthma management, wellbeing and social participation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Science and Technology
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Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2009 15:15
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2015 09:50

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