The evolution of Camp Oz: Addressing the evidence gaps

Dr Megan Simons1, Mike Coker2, Arron Sullivan2, Tim Wood3, Anna Young4, Prof Roy Kimble5, Heidi Cable6

1 Occupational Therapy Department, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, 4101. megan.simons@health.qld.gov.au
2 Bornhoffen Police Citizens Youth Club Leadership Development Centre, 3510 Nerang Murwillumbah Rd Natural Bridge, Queensland, 4211. mike.coker@pcyc.org.au; arron.sullivan@pcyc.org.au
3 Director, Social Work Department, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, 4101. tim.wood@health.qld.gov.au
4 Director, Occupational Therapy Department, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, 4101. anna.young@health.qld.gov.au
5 School of Medicine, Centre for Children’s Health Research, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane Queensland, 4101. royk@uq.edu.au
6 Social Work Department, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, 4101. heidi.cable@health.qld.gov.au

Young people who experience a burn injury often need to adjust to living with an altered physical appearance and present with an invisible and altered psychological perspective. Young people with burns are at an increased risk of manifesting negative life trajectories during adolescence affecting their pychological well-being, engagement in education and career and/or civic or social contributions. Burns camp programs in Australia arose in response to a cultural need to protect, monitor, contain and sustain young people with a burn injury.

Camp OZ was launched through the Burns Unit, Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane in November 1987. It was the first of its kind for an Australian paediatric Burns Unit. Since 2008, Camp Oz has utilised a 3-day outdoor adventure intervention approach to build life effectiveness capabilities, increase positive mental health and improve behavioural functioning of children aged 8 to 16 years. In response to evaluation strategies, the Camp Oz program was reviewed to address identified gaps in social capital/capability  and risk management/building strengths.

This review has led to a service level agreement between Children’s Health Queensland and the Police Citizens Youth Club – Bornhoffen – Leadership Development Centre. The expanded package includes a  Mentor Support Program and Collaborative Leadership Practice/Group elements.  Such program development requires a strong collaborative approach. Lessons learned from this experience from the key stakeholders (including hospital administrators) will be described. Future directions focussed on evaluating the translation of the impact of the Camp Oz experience at a service and population group level will be presented.

Key Words

burns camp, social capital, collaborative leadership

Biography

Megan Simons is currently an Occupational Therapy Consultant at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Brisbane. She has worked in burns care over 20 years, with research interests in evaluating intervention effectiveness, health-related quality of life and translation of the evidence into daily clinical practice.

About ANZBA

ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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