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NCT number NCT03189849
Study type Observational
Source University of Wisconsin, Madison
Status Enrolling by invitation
Phase N/A
Start date June 2017
Completion date December 2017

Clinical Trial Summary

This study will be an observational study of children who attend summer camp at the Heartland Farm Sanctuary (HFS). The investigators are exploring whether time-limited exposure to a traditional farming environment will improve children's overall health and general well-being.

Clinical Trial Description

The overarching hypothesis for this study is that urban children exposed on a time-limited basis to a traditional farming environment will show reduced peripheral inflammation, improved hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (i.e. stress system) function, increased beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome and enhanced emotional well-being. Secondary hypotheses are that 1) increased presence of farm-derived immunoregulatory micro-organisms in the nose (indicating exposure) will be associated with reduced inflammation, improved HPA axis function and increased beneficial microbiome bacteria; and 2) these physiological changes will be associated with measures of emotional well-being and prosocial behavior. To test these hypotheses, 40 urban children ages 7-13 years will be studied prior to and following a 1, 2, or 3-week camp experience at the Heartland Farm Sanctuary summer camp program in Verona, WI. Assessments for behavior (via questionnaires), immune/neuroendocrine physiology (via saliva collection), gut microbiota composition and function (via stool) and presence in the body of farm-derived immunoregulatory micro-organisms (via nasal swab) will be assessed at baseline (2 weeks before the start of camp and the weekend before camp starts), immediately following the child's 1, 2, or 3-week camp experience and at 1 and 3 months following completion of the camp experience. Importantly, this assessment schedule will allow the investigators to assess the longevity of any observed physical or behavioral changes induced by exposure to the farming environment.

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

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