This quasiexperimental study aimed to examine the effects of a swimming-focused summer camp program on self-efficacy and exercise behavioral change in schoolchildren with asthma and their parental support. Forty-one asthmatic schoolchildren were recruited from a medical center and an asthma education association in southern Taiwan. The participants in the summer camp program were assigned to the experimental group; the control group comprised those who did not attend the summer camp program. Each child was paired with a parent. A total of 16 child-parent pairs in the experimental group and 25 pairs in the control group were followed-up. This 1.5-day asthma summer camp program included 20 minutes of health education in physical activity, two sessions of swimming practice for the children, and a 2-hour conference with the parents. The outcome measures included an Exercise Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, Stages of Exercise Behavior Change Questionnaire, and a Parental Support for Exercise Questionnaire. Before implementing the program, the two groups differed significantly in terms of the severity of their asthma, as well as their pre-camp test scores of exercise self-efficacy. Therefore, asthma severity levels and scores from the pre-camp exercise self-efficacy test were selected as two ANCOVA covariates. The adjusted means for stages of exercise behavior change on the 2-month post-camp test were significantly different between the two groups, F(1, 37) = 5.88 and p = 0.02. Compared with the control group, subjects who attended the summer camp reported more regular exercise behavior at the 2-month post-camp test. Thus, a summer camp program with swimming instruction can enhance the exercise behavior of schoolchildren with asthma. This program is highly recommended for managing schoolchildren with asthma.
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