A Camp-Based Psychosocial Intervention to Promote Independence and Social Function in Individuals With Spina Bifida: Moderators of Treatment Effectiveness

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Purpose To replicate and extend O’Mahar and colleagues’ (O'Mahar, K., Holmbeck, G. N., Jandasek, B., & Zuckerman, J. [2010]. A camp-based intervention targeting independence among individuals with spina bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 848–856) findings in a new and larger sample of youth and young adults with spina bifida who participated in a modified camp-based intervention targeting independence and social skills. Moderators of intervention effectiveness and clinical significance were examined. Method In all, 119 campers aged 7–41 years participated in an intervention that included goal setting and interactive workshops. Campers and parents completed measures of campers’ goal attainment, independence, and social functioning at preintervention and postintervention; counselors reported on campers’ goal attainment daily throughout the intervention. Results Parents and campers reported improvements in campers’ goal attainment, management of health-related self-care, and independence. Although benefits were found for most campers, cognitive functioning and family income moderated some outcomes. Campers who improved most on their social goals perceived the intervention to be more effective. Conclusions Further support is provided for the effectiveness of a camp-based intervention targeting independence and social skills for individuals with spina bifida. More attention should be directed toward those with cognitive difficulties and low-income backgrounds.

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