Blue Healer Surfing Intervention: Move to Improve Program

The Surfing Intervention Move to Improve Program was first run under a pilot project, 'Blue Healer,' which used surfing as a family-based intervention to improve the lives of children with cystic fibrosis. It was proven that the program was an effective therapy that improved the patient's physical and psychological well-being and their family relationships overall.  

The  project is now expanding its research size and participants and is inviting children (and their families) who have suffered a burn injury to participate in the surf program. This study harnesses the concept of 'exercise as medicine' and looks to evaluate how interventions such as family-based surfing programs may improve psychological wellbeing and family relationships. There are no costs associated with participating in this research project.  

Inclusion and Exclusion criteria

Participant inclusion criteria.

If your child is between 7-18 years (inclusive), has been diagnosed with one of the following chronic health conditions and is able to participate in ocean activity then they are able to participate in the study:

  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)
  • Post-burn Injury (PBI)
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP)
  • Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)
  • Oncology Disease (OD)

• Caregivers and siblings of patients will be aged 7 years or older. A maximum of 5 family members, including the patient, will be allowed.

• Patients and family members who participate in the surfing intervention will need to have the ability to participate safely in ocean water (float or tread water or swim with or without support).

Participant exclusion criteria; the following will be excluded from participation:

• Individuals with pre-existing comorbidities that preclude participation in surfing.

• Individuals from the surfing intervention who are unable to participate safely in ocean water.

• Women who are pregnant (caregiver)

• Individuals with a significant intellectual disability.

To access further information on the Surfing Intervention: Move to Improve Program please click here

Please be aware that this research study will place participants into two groups: a surfing group and a control group (no surfing). You will have a 66% chance of being selected for the surfing intervention and a 33% chance of being in the control group. If your family is placed into the control group, you will be offered a surf fun fay at the end of the year and invited to participate in the new Move to Improve exercise program at Perth Children’s Hospital.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with Joanna White, Senior Clinical Psychologist, for more information.


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