Children with type 1 diabetes who attend a diabetes summer camp showed increased self-management skills, increased diabetes knowledge and better emotional well-being after completing the program, according to survey results released by the American Diabetes Association
In a 3-year, online survey conducted between 2013 and 2015 with more than 6,500 caregivers, the number of children with a clear understanding of diabetes management increased by 11% after attending an ADA camp, and the number of attendees with the ability to manage diabetes-related problems independently increased by 10%. Newly diagnosed campers showed the greatest change, with 19% of children improving in their ability to manage disease-related issues. Children attending camp programs also reported increased confidence and lower diabetes-related stress.
"The survey results show what we have known all along — our camps can have a positive impact on the children with type 1 diabetes who attend them," Jane Chiang, MD, senior vice president, medical and community affairs, American Diabetes Association, said in a press release. "For many families, association camps may be the first time a child with diabetes has been away from home. We are grateful to many for providing the opportunity for campers to learn how to manage their diabetes, build their self-esteem and gain independence."
ADA is the world's largest provider of camps for children with diabetes, with 58 camp sessions serving nearly 6,000 campers in 2015.
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