Starlight is committed to partnering with researchers at medical and academic institutions in order to evaluate the efficacy of our programs in meeting their stated goals and improving the lives of seriously ill children and their families.
Research studies at institutions across North America have demonstrated the benefits of Starlight’s programs for seriously ill children and their families, including:
- Improved self-efficacy and self-esteem
- Reduced pain, pain intensity, and pain aversiveness
- Increased communication, socialization and peer support
- Improved ability to cope with their disease
- Improved knowledge about their illness, child’s sense of responsibility and adherence to treatment
- Improvement in symptoms
- Reduced isolation, anxiety and depression
- Improved relationships with healthcare providers
- Improved family cohesiveness
- Increased willingness to return for treatment
- A reduction in negative coping and withdrawn behaviors
- Improved parent-child relationships
Research Excerpts by Program:
- Quest for the Code® A research study conducted at University of Miami School of Medicine found that children who played Quest for the Code showed increased asthma-related knowledge, self-efficacy and sense of responsibility toward managing their disease, with improvements in adherence and a reduction in symptoms.
- Back to School A multi-site study conducted at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Alabama found that teens who watched Back to School had increased knowledge about potentially difficult situations at school and strategies to deal with them, and reduced distress about managing social situations with peers at school after a long absence due to illness.
- Fitting Cystic Fibrosis Into Your Life Everyday™ A randomized, waitlist control research study conducted at the University of Florida demonstrated that teens and pre-teens using Fitting Cystic Fibrosis into Your Life Everyday had increased knowledge about their disease and improved coping skills.
- Spotlight on IVs A research study conducted at Fielding Graduate Institute found that children interacting with Spotlight on IVs perceived their medical treatment as significantly less threatening after using the program.
- Fun Centers A review of research literature found that distractive entertainment interventions similar to Fun Centers have been found to reduce perceived pain and symptoms, reduce distress and the need for other interventions -- such as restraints -- during painful procedures, and provide a more cost-effective intervention than many traditional behavioral procedures.
- Great Escapes A research study conducted at Fielding Graduate Institute found that the Great Escapes family activities program provides significant psychological benefits to seriously ill children and their families, including reduced anxiety and depression; and improved coping, family cohesiveness and socialization.
- Living With Kidney Disease™ A two-site research study conducted at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine Children’s Mercy Hospital and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Johns Hopkins Children’s Center found Living with Kidney Disease to be an effective educational tool for adolescents with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis or kidney transplantation.
- The X-Men in: Life Lessons A program evaluation conducted at two camps serving young burn survivors in North America found that of children and teens who read the Life Lessons comic book nearly 80% said it helped them reflect on their own situation and 64% said they learned something that helped them cope with their recovery.
- Sickle Cell Slime-O-Rama A randomized control study conducted at Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital found that participation in the Sickle Cell Slime-O-Rama Game resulted in a greater sense of peer support and decreased negative coping behaviors among teens with sickle cell disease.
- Starbright World® Research studies conducted at institutions across North America have found that children using Starbright World experienced significantly less pain, anxiety, loneliness and withdrawn behavior; improved self esteem, communication, parent and caregiver relationships, peer support; and an increased willingness to return for treatment.
Bibliography of Publications' Research Studies
Klosky, J.L., Tyc, V.L., Tong, X., Srivastava, K., Kronenberg, M, deArmendi, A., & Merchant, T.M. Predicting pediatric distress during radiation therapy procedures: The role of medical, psychosocial and demographic factors. Pediatrics, 119, e1159-66, 2007.
Klosky, J.L., Garces-Webb, D.M., Buscemi, J., Schum, L.N., Tyc, V.L., and Merchant, T.E. Examination of an interactive-educational intervention in improving parent and child distress outcomes associated with pediatric radiation therapy procedures. Children’s Health Care, 36, 323-334, 2007.
Bisagnano, A., Bush, J.P. Stress In Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Patients Undergoing I.V. Procedures: Evaluation of a CD-ROM Intervention. Children’s Health Care, 35(1), 61-74.
Hazzard, A, Ketchen, B, Lassiter, S, Barber, N, Armistead, L, Mentz, R, Hsu, L (2006) Starbright World: A Pilot Study of a Home-Based Sickle Cell Psychoeducational InterventionChildren’s Health Care, 34(4), 321-338
Alan Delamater, PhD, Judith McCullough, PhD, Michelle Castro, BS, Lee Sanders, MD, Michael Light, MD and Giovanni Piedimonte, MD. Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, Miami, FL, United States, 33317. Interactive Intervention for Children with Asthma. Society of Behavioral Medicine: 2006 Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions
Klosky, J.L., Tyc V.L., Srivastava, D.K., Tong, X., Kronenberg, M., Booker, Z., de Armendi, A.J.., Merchant, T.E. (in press). Brief Report: Evaluation of an Interactive Intervention designed to Reduce Pediatric Distress during Radiation Therapy Procedures. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 29(8), 621-26;
Davis, M. A., Quittner, A. L., & Stack, C. (2004). Controlled Evaluation of a Program for Children and Adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Vol. 29(4), 259-267.
Fiorenza, JP; Gerson, AC; Kouri, F; Warady, S.; Furth, SL; Warady, B. Evaluation of the Interactive Program “Living with Kidney Disease” in Adolescents with CKD. 2004 Pediatric Academic Societies and Eastern Society for Pediatric Research Annual Meetings.
Sanderson, L.D., Barry, L.M, (2003) Children's Experiences of End Stage Renal Failure, Coping with Its Treatment and Side-effects, and Perceived Benefits of Starbright World Technology. Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services, Vol. 22(1), 51-66.
Battles, H, Wiener, L. (2002). Starbright World: Effects of an Electronic Network on the Social Environment of Children With Life-Threatening Illnesses. Children’s Health Care, Vol. 31(1), 47-68.
Brokstein, R., Cohen, S., Walco, G. (2002). Starbright World and Psychological Adjustment in Children with Cancer: A Clinical Series. Children’s Health Care, Vol. 31(1), 29-46.
Bush, J., Simonian, S. (2002). New Directions in Research on STARBRIGHT Interventions. Children’s Health Care, Vol. 31(1), 87-91.
Bush, J., Huchital, J., Simonian, S. (2002). An Introduction to Program and Research Initiatives of the STARBRIGHT Foundation. Children’s Health Care, Vol. 31(1), 1-10.
Davis, M.A., Quittner, A.L., & Stack, C. (2002). Controlled evaluation of a program for children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis. [Abstract] Pediatric Pulmonology, Supp. 24, 350.
Hazzard, A., Celano, M., Collins, M. Markov, Y. (2002). Effects of Starbright World on Knowledge, Social Support, and Coping of Hospitalized Children with Sickle Cell Disease and Asthma. Children’s Health Care, Vol. 31(1), 69-86.
Tyc, V., Klosky, J., Kronenberg, M., de Armendi, A., Merchant, T. (2002). Children’s Distress in Anticipation of Radiation Therapy Procedures. Children’s Health Care, Vol. 31(1), 11-28.
Davis, M. A., Quittner, A. L., Larsen, E., & Stack, C. (2001, April). Evaluation of a program for Children and Adolescents with cystic fibrosis. Poster presented at the 8th Florida Conference on Child Health Psychology, Gainesville, FL.
Burgos, A., Robinson, T., Lin, J. (2000, May). Effects of Starbright World on the Self-Esteem, Depression, Pain and Anxiety in Children Undergoing Bone Marrow Transplant: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies and American Academy of Pediatrics, Boston, MA.
Holden, G., Bearison, D., Rode, D., Kapiloff, Rosenberg, G. (2000). The Effects of a Computer Network on Pediatric Pain and Anxiety. Journal of Technology in Human Services, Vol. 17(1), 27-47.
Bearison, D., Holden, G., Rode, D., Fishman, M., Rosenberg, G. (1999). Hospitalized Children Navigating within a Computer Based Community: Participants' Perspectives of Starbright World. In W. Spitzer (Ed.), Proceedings from the Virginia Conference on Social Work Practice in Healthcare (pp. 11-18).
Halvorson, M., Kaufman, F., Engilman, R., Carpenter, S. (1999, June). Comparison of a Diabetes CD-ROM Program, Diabetes Video Game, and Diabetes Kids Class in Diabetes Management and Knowledge Accession in Children Ages 5-10 with Type 1 Diabetes. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, San Diego, CA.
Holden, G., Bearison, D., Rode, D., Fishman, M., Rosenberg, G. (1999). Evaluating the Effects of a Virtual Environment (Starbright World) With Hospitalized Children. Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 9(3), 365-82.
Rode, D., Fishman, M., Capitulo, K., Holden, G. (1998). The Therapeutic Use of Technology. American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 98(12), 32-5
Escamilla, G.M., Falkinstein, Y., Chang, C.Y., Schneider, D.I. and Zeltzer L.K. (1997). Reducing Acute Pain Through Computer Generated Distraction in Children.
Journal of Investigative Medicine, 45(1):86A
Starlight’s Research Partners
David Bearison, PhD, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Ronald Brown, PhD, Medical University of South Carolina
Joseph P Bush, PhD, Fielding Graduate Institute
Alan Delamater, PhD, University of Miami School of Medicine
Susan Furth, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Ann Hazzard, PhD, Emory University School of Medicine
Gary Holden, DSW, New York University
Ernie Katz, PhD, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
Francine Kaufman, MD, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
Avi Madan-Swain, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Thomas Merchant, DO, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
David Nicholas, PhD, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Alexandra Quittner, PhD, University of Miami School of Medicine
Thomas Robinson, MD, MPH, Stanford University School of Medicine
Laura Sanderson, EdD, University of West Florida
Gary Walco, PhD, Hackensack University School of Medicine
Lori Wiener, PhD, The National Cancer Institute, The National Institutes of Health