Action Research to Strengthen Women Weavers’ Self-Care in North-East Thailand

Authors


Correspondence to:

Kessarawan Nilvarangkul, Director of Research and Training Center of Quality of Life of Working-Age People, Faculty of Nursing, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. E-mail: kessa_ni@kku.ac.th

Abstract

Objective

The objective of this research was to improve self-care and work safety practices among women weavers in North-East Thailand.

Design and Sample

Action research was used with a sample of 107 weavers and 15 community and local government stakeholders from six rural villages. Formative and summative evaluation was carried out over 10 months following initial implementation of five action plans, and after 5 years.

Measures

Qualitative data were collected via focus groups, formal and informal interviews and research field notes. Women's self-care issues and safety problems, and weaving-related environmental pollution emerged from the content analyses. Five action plans were created.

Results

Results showed that through action research the women were empowered to identify personal and work-related health issues, environmental contamination concerns, and lack of social and community support systems. Over time they developed capacity for working collectively to address these. Five year follow-up revealed many of the changes made were ongoing, and well-integrated into community life.

Conclusions

The study reaffirmed the potential for public health or community nurses and other health personnel for enhancing community health status via action research with vulnerable populations; in this case, rural village women weavers in North-East Thailand.

Ancillary