Impact of a pediatric residential burn camp experience on burn survivors' perceptions of self and attitudes regarding the camp community

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Journal of Burn Care and Research


Summer camp is reported to be a positive and valuable experience for burn and nonburned children. Objective studies comparing the effectiveness, similarities, and differences of rehabilitative vs recreational camps are limited. The aim of this study, year 1, was to assess the effect of burn camp on self-esteem and integration as reported by burn children via the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and a community integration survey. During year 2, burn campers completed these measures again and their self-esteem and integration scores were compared with a group of nonburn campers. The first year results showed significant improvement in burn camper's self-esteem from the beginning to end of camp and successful integration into the camp community. During year 2, burn surviving children reported significantly lower self-esteem before camp than the comparison group, but after camp, burn children's self-esteem was comparable with that of nonburn campers. White non-Hispanic campers reported more sustained improvement in self-esteem than other ethnic groups. Burn campers reported a high level of integration into the camp across sex, years since burn, years at camp, or ethnicity, scoring slightly higher than the comparison group. Age was positively correlated with integration among the burn, but not the nonburn campers. Helping children deal with their burn injuries through a rehabilitative program such as burn camp appears to provide benefit for child burn survivors. © 2007 The American Burn Association.

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