The impact of therapeutic camp on children with congenital hand differences

Amy Lake, Shelby Parker Cerza, Lesley Butler, Scott Oishi, Andrea Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of hand camp by investigating camp participation and outcomes on self-esteem, physical function, activity participation, and peer relationships. Forty patients with a congenital hand difference seen in hand clinic between the ages of 10 and 13 were eligible to attend hand camp. Participation involved completion of questionnaires at 3-time points: before camp (Pre-Camp Questionnaires), immediately following camp (Immediate Follow-Up Questionnaires) and 6-months after camp (Final Follow-Up Questionnaires). The questionnaires administered included: Demographic Form, Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), and Camp Expectation Questionnaire. Thirty-six patients were included (22 females, 14 males), average age of 11.17 years. Diagnoses included: central deficiency, transverse deficiency, radial longitudinal deficiency, ulnar longitudinal deficiency, and overgrowth conditions. PROMIS Upper Extremity Function significantly improved from pre-camp to immediate follow-up (46.24 to 48.95; p = 0.016), as well as at pre-camp and final follow-up (46.24 to 49.44; p = 0.008). PROMIS Peer Relation scores significantly improved from pre-camp to immediate follow-up (52.26 to 57.91; p = 0.002). RSES results indicated significant improvements in self-esteem between pre-camp and immediate follow-up (23.92 to 26.81; p < 0.001), and between pre-camp and final follow-up (23.92 to 25.72; p < 0.001). Peer relationships, upper extremity function, and self-esteem improved immediately following hand camp. Upper extremity function and self-esteem scores continued to improve significantly throughout the 6-month follow-up period. The study authors believe that research related to therapeutic camping experiences is integral when identifying best-practice interventions to increase quality of life outcomes for children with congenital hand differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1938439
JournalCogent Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • camp
  • hand difference
  • peer relations
  • psychosocial function
  • self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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