Development and evaluation of an intensive intervention program for children with a chronic health condition: A pilot study
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A range of developmental risk factors threatens the psychosocial well-being of children with a chronic health condition (CCHC). Early intervention and prevention programs are emerging as an effective response to improving individual and family coping mechanisms. In particular, efforts to address individual and family coping throughout the important pre-teen transitional ages for CCHC have gained popularity although their effectiveness has not been adequately demonstrated. We conducted a pre-post intervention study to evaluate an intensive intervention program for CCHC aged 10-14 years that aimed to enhance well-being. Twelve CCHC participated in a pilot 8-week intensive intervention program. At three month follow-up there was a significant increase in children's self esteem (t = 3.39, p<.01). There was a decrease in mean scores for anxiety and depression symptoms. Parental perceptions of the impact of the condition on the child reduced significantly (t = 2.37, p<.05). It was beyond the scope of the present study to conclusively evaluate the effectiveness of the intensive intervention program, however results show that it was a promising strategy to improve a range of outcomes for CCHC. Further research using a larger sample is needed to determine the ways in which this program influences psychosocial well-being of CCHC and their families.
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