Get access

Social Network Analysis to Evaluate Nursing Interventions to Improve Self-Care


Correspondence to

J. Idrovo, Center for Health Systems Research, National Institute of Public Health, Avenida Universidad 655, Colonia Santa María Ahuacatitlán, CP 62100, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. E-mail:



To explore the impact of an educational intervention for self-care of elders on their knowledge of acute respiratory infections and its incidence within their social networks.


The intervention was based on seven educational sessions with elders from Jiutepec (Morelos, Mexico) conducted between September 2009 and January 2010 in the context of the influenza A(H1N1) pandemic. Egocentric social network analysis was used to explore the transmission of knowledge within elders’ networks.


Knowledge of the correct use of antibiotics increased (< .05). The total network was composed of 94 individuals, of which 22 presented with respiratory infection during the 4.5 months of follow-up. The measurements of infected individuals were in a degree similar to those not infected (> .05). No differences in incidence were observed with respect to gender, kinship or sub-networks.


Elders increased their self-care and knowledge, but this did not decrease the incidence of cases in their social networks. This may be due to isolation and lack of recognition and credibility among close friends and relatives. Social network analysis can be used to understand and evaluate nursing self-care interventions.

Get access to the full text of this article