Evaluation of a Multistate Faith-based Program for Children Affected by Natural Disaster

Authors

  • Marianne E. Zotti,

    1. Dr.P.H., M.S., F.A.A.N., is Team Leader, Services Management, Research & Translation Team, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCCDPHP, DRH, ASB, Atlanta, Georgia,
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  • Juanita Graham,

    1. M.S.N., R.N., is Health Services Chief Nurse, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, Mississippi,
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  • Anna Lyn Whitt,

    1. L.M.S.W., M.P.H., is Performance Measurement Manager, Policy Evaluation, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, Mississippi,
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  • Susan Anand,

    1. M.A., A.T.R.-B.C., L.P.A.T., L.M.F.T., is Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
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  • William H. Replogle

    1. Ph.D., is Professor and Director of Research, Department of Family Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
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Marianne E. Zotti, Team Leader, Services Management, Research & Translation Team, CDC, NCCDPHP, DRH, ASB, 4770 Buford Highway NE, MS K-22 (mailing address), Atlanta, GA 30341-3724. E-mail: MZotti@cdc.gov

Abstract

ABSTRACT Objectives: To systematically evaluate Camp Noah, a faith-based intervention for children affected by natural disaster: to assess the extent to which the camps were carried out according to the program design, to describe how the Camp Noah program was implemented, and to explore Camp Noah program effects on children.

Design: Qualitative survey.

Sample: Twenty-eight local, state, and national stakeholders.

Measurement: Open-ended interviews.

Results: Although camps adhered to the curriculum, many implementation weaknesses resulted from a lack of clear program structure and written procedures. Stakeholders observed that children generally were able to process their disaster experiences in the camp, and some children exhibited increased understanding of God's role in their disaster experience. Stakeholders also described parent reports of increased coping skills related to weather among some children. Lastly, stakeholders both observed positive effects of Camp Noah on children's behaviors and symptoms and described changes reported to them by parents.

Conclusions: Every year, thousands of children suffer emotionally as a result of natural disaster in the United States. With public health nursing support and improvements in infrastructure, Camp Noah may be a promising intervention to address this important public health problem.

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