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|Title: ||Supporting self-help groups: an action research study based on the work of Nottingham Self-Help Groups Project between 1982 and 1983 carried out by the project worker|
|Authors: ||Wilson, Judith M.|
|Issue Date: ||1987|
|Publisher: ||© Judith M. Wilson|
|Abstract: ||The Nottingham Self Help Groups Project (NSHGP) - an innovative approach to
supporting self-help groups - was studied and evaluated for two years
through the medium of participant action research. The project worker on
the scheme doubled as the participant observer. The project's six
objectives provided structure for the research, but this study is not
simply an evaluation of its success. Rather, in this research, self help
development is set in context; the need for change is identified
examining too how changes were carried out; and specific aspects of the
work are analysed. NSHGP concentrated on self-help /mutual aid groups -
definitions are arguable - based on health issues. The literature review
reveals the lack of similar studies, but demonstrates the need to study
self-help in a broad context and to bring in related issues e.g.
professional power. There is little evidence, however, of a self-conscious
self-help movement in this country.
Detailed analysis reveals the strengths and limits of the project. The
growth of new groups was marked; the potential problems of professional
involvement is discussed; and the usefulness of joint activities is
demonstrated. Responsiveness to requests, rather than promotion of groups,
seemed to work. While no other organisations - local or national offered
identical help, the small size of the project meant not all needs were met.
Without monitoring, evaluation and change the project could have been
overwhelmed by its own initial success.
The objectives set, however, were by and large appropriate at the time and
were all fulfilled to a greater or lesser extent. NSHGP, it is suggested,
is important both for pioneering new work and for the unusual research
methods adopted. Of interest, also, are the issues raised about lay
participation in health care. Finally, the study raises questions about the
values of self-help and how these might be built into professional care.|
|Description: ||A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy at Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||MPhil Theses (Social Sciences)|
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