Psychological State of Campers and Camp Counselors with Type 1 Diabetes who have Attended Diabetes Camp


  • Stephanie Hassouneh University of Kansas School of Medicine
  • Elizabeth Ablah, Ph.D., MPH
  • Hayrettin Okut, Ph.D.
  • Mark Harrison, M.D.



Diabetes Mellitus, Camping, Self-efficacy, Psychological Stress, Depression, Counseling


Introduction. By 2050, more than 580,000 children in the United States will be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Management of T1D requires careful and continuous intervention, and children with T1D experience greater challenges in disease management than their adult counterparts. Diabetes camps are designed to help those with T1D learn diabetes management skills while experiencing summer camp. Psychological aspects are not explicitly addressed in diabetes camps located in Kansas. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychological state of past campers and camp counselors from one diabetes camp in Kansas.

Methods. Campers and counselors who had T1D and attended diabetes camp from 2015 to 2019 in Kansas were recruited to complete a survey about diabetes-related stress, diabetes management self-efficacy, and symptoms of depression. A link to the online survey was distributed to previous campers and counselors by email and through Facebook.

Results. A total of 24 camp counselors and 10 campers were surveyed, 100% of whom reported having T1D and attending camp at least once. One-third of respondents (n=8) reported having severe diabetes-related stress, and 100% (n=34) reported high levels of diabetes management self-efficacy. Most participants reported moderate levels of depression, and 9% (n=3) reported a past suicide attempt. These results suggest a relatively high prevalence in signs of psychological distress from former campers and camp counselors with T1D.

Conclusions. This study suggests that campers and counselors with T1D have high levels of diabetes-related stress, high diabetes management self-efficacy, and many signs of depression.




How to Cite

Hassouneh, S., Ablah, E., Okut, H., & Harrison, M. (2022). Psychological State of Campers and Camp Counselors with Type 1 Diabetes who have Attended Diabetes Camp. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 15(1), 86–90.



Original Research