Psychosocial sequelae of relaxation training and peer interaction for children with diabetes

Brandon Gig Briery

Abstract

Preliminary research has indicated that both children's attitudes toward their diabetes and their levels of trait anxiety show significant improvement following participation in summer camps designed specifically for children with diabetes. In addition, the beneficial impact of long-term relaxation training programs on overall glycemic control for children with diabetes has been well documented. The present study examined various facets of the Psychosocial and medical impacts that a brief relaxation training intervention, administered during a week-long summer camping session, has for children with diabetes. Children who participated in the study attended one of two week-long summer camp sessions for children diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), and were 6 to 16 years old. Specific psychosocial impacts examined include the children's attitudes toward their diabetes and their levels of state and trait anxiety. In order to assess the impacts on medical functioning associated with participation in the present study, attempts were made to monitor blood glucose levels of all children participating for a period beginning 1 month pre-intervention and continuing throughout the course of the study.