Self-Help Groups as a Support Strategy in Nursing: A Case Study

Authors

  • Cathrine Hildingh PhD RN,

    Senior Lecturer, Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Health Promotion Research, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden
    2. Department of Nursing Science, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.
      Centre for Health Promotion Research, Halmstad University, Träslövsvägen 62B, 432 37 Varberg, Sweden, e-mail Cathrine.Hildingh@hos.hh.se
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  • Bengt Fridlund PhD RN,

    Professor
    1. Centre for Health Promotion Research, Halmstad University
    2. Department of Nursing Science, University of Kuopio
    3. Department of Primary Health Care, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
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  • Kerstin Segesten PhD RN

    Professor
    1. Department of Nursing Science, Boras University, Boras, Sweden
    2. Department of Primary Health Care, Göteborg University.
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Centre for Health Promotion Research, Halmstad University, Träslövsvägen 62B, 432 37 Varberg, Sweden, e-mail Cathrine.Hildingh@hos.hh.se

Abstract

Self-help groups can be regarded as supplementary sources of support outside of clients' existing social network, and as such, are important in planning nursing care. Nurses traditionally are socialized and educated in the expert care provider role. Although they are not used to responding to lay support networks, they can effectively cooperate with self-help groups. The aim of this qualitative study using the case study approach was to describe capabilities of a female cardiac nurse who includes self-help groups in her plan for the support of cardiac clients. Her confidence in human strength and her insight into the disease situation were interpreted as factors that may have accounted for her flexible attitude to caring and her ability to appreciate lay care. This nurse has expanded her professional role by increasing clients' care with regard to their social environment. When using self-help groups as a support strategy, she acts as a resource mobilizer and facilitator, who contributes to the empowerment of her clients.

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