Background The Camp COOL programme aims to help young Dutch people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) develop self-management skills. Fellow patients already treated in adult care (hereafter referred to as ‘buddies’) organise the day-to-day program, run the camp, counsel the attendees, and also participate in the activities. The attendees are young people who still have to transfer to adult care. This study aimed to explore the effects of this specific form of peer-to-peer support on the self-management of young people (16–25 years) with ESRD who participated in Camp COOL (CC) (hereafter referred to as ‘participants’).
Methods A mixed methods research design was employed. Semi-structured interviews (n = 19) with initiators/staff, participants, and healthcare professionals were conducted. These were combined with retrospective and pre-post surveys among participants (n = 62), and observations during two camp weeks.
Results Self-reported effects of participants were: increased self-confidence, more disease-related knowledge, feeling capable of being more responsible and open towards others, and daring to stand up for yourself. According to participants, being a buddy or having one positively affected them. Self-efficacy of attendees and independence of buddies increased, while attendees’ sense of social inclusion decreased (measured as domains of health-related quality of life). The buddy role was a pro-active combination of being supervisor, advisor, and leader.
Conclusions Camp COOL allowed young people to support each other in adjusting to everyday life with ESRD. Participating in the camp positively influenced self-management in this group. Peerto- peer support through buddies was much appreciated. Support from young adults was not only beneficial for adolescent attendees, but also for young adult buddies. Paediatric nephrologists are encouraged to refer patients to CC and to facilitate such initiatives. Together with nephrologists in adult care, they could take on a role in selecting buddies.

doi.org/10.1186/1471-2369-14-279, hdl.handle.net/1765/50398
BMC Nephrology
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Sattoe, J., Jedeloo, S., & van Staa, A. (2013). Effective peer-to-peer support for young people with end-stage renal disease: a mixed methods evaluation of Camp COOL. BMC Nephrology, 2013(14). doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-279