Enhancements in Confidence, Acceptance, and Friendship at a Summer Camp for Children With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Abstract

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects many children and adolescents in terms of their confidence, acceptance, and ability to build friendships. New Zealand held its first summer camp for children with IBD in January 2015. We obtained feedback from the campers (ages 10–18 years) in terms of their confidence, acceptance, and quality of life. We also asked what experience was most beneficial to them, whether they made new friends with IBD, and if they would attend the camp again. Thirty-six campers responded (81.8% response rate; median age 14 years [range 10–18]; 83.3% Crohn disease; 41.7% girls). Most reported that the camp improved their confidence (86.1%), acceptance (83.3%), and overall quality of life (75.0%) relating to IBD. Moreover, most reported that meeting their fellow campers was the most beneficial experience to come from the camp (72.2%). Overall, these results emphasize the importance and relevance of such an undertaking.

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