New York, Jan 12 (UNI) A 'Huggy-Puppy' intervention may ease stress signs in children exposed to traumatic or war-related experiences, a new research shows.
The findings will go a long way in helping children living in or near war zones or insurgency-affected regions.
The study to prove the effects of caring for a stuffed toy in treating children with stress was conducted by Dr Avi Sadeh of Tel Aviv University in a sheltered camp during the second Israel-Lebanon war (July to August 2006).
Two separate studies were conducted. In the first study, exposure to war experiences and stress reactions of the children in the camp were assessed through parental reports during the last week of the war. In addition to standard care, 35 children received a brief intervention (Huggy-Puppy intervention) aimed at encouraging them to care for a needy Huggy-Puppy doll that was given to them as a gift.
In the second study the efficacy of group administration of the Huggy-Puppy intervention to 191 young children, compared with 101 control subjects was assessed. The effects of the intervention on stress-related symptoms after the war were assessed in telephone interviews with the parents.
Results showed that the Huggy-Puppy intervention was associated with significant reductions in stress reactions in the post-war assessment. A higher level of attachment and involvement with the doll was associated with better outcomes.
The cost effective technique would be a potent tool in situations where a number of children were exposed to trauma, the Official Journal of American Academy of Paediatrics reported.
UNI XC YA MSJ KP1205