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A health promoting mutual-aid group for carers of terminally-ill persons

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dc.contributor.advisor Edwards, S.D.
dc.contributor.author Dhlomo, Rosemond Mbaliyezwe.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-27T10:32:51Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-27T10:32:51Z
dc.date.issued 2003
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/659
dc.description A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree: PhD (Community Psychology) in the Department of Psychology Faculty of Arts, University of Zululand, 2003. en_US
dc.description.abstract Caring for an ill person, especially a terminally ill person can be a rewarding yet equally stressful experience. An organisation of carers (mutual-aid group) provides a support system responsive to the special problems of carers, including discussion groups, which are responsive to the inadequacies in the ongoing lives of carers, in promoting mental health. Mutual-aid groups fall within the social action model of community psychology, which aims to promote personal empowerment, defined as the process of gaining influence over events and outcomes of importance to an individual or group. This model is a shift in intervention from prevention to empowerment and from needs to rights. Mutual aid groups are built around such values as co-operation, shared experience, personal responsibility and mutual help in the achievement of a common end. The present study was in line with the aims of health promotion at a tertiary level, which are to improve solutions for living and increase health, strength, skill and human rights for carers of the terminally ill, in very empowering contexts. The present research followed up on the recommendations by Dhlomo (2000) that more groups catering for the caretakers of people labeled as abnormal should be formed to promote health at a tertiary level. The aims of this thesis were to elicit needs from a group of carers of the terminally-ill, form and evaluate an ongoing mutual-aid group program and especially promote the variables of empowerment and carer effectiveness. It was hypothesised that this mutual-aid group program for carers of the terminally-ill persons would result in improvement of the above-mentioned variables. Eleven carers committed themselves to be available for the mutual aid group. In line with the social action model, this was a participatory, action research, program-evaluation type of design, where co-researchers (carers) jointly defined the aims of their group, themes to be discussed and the meanings of such variables as empowerment and carer-effectiveness. Psychological techniques used in the present study included a biographical inventory, needs analysis questionnaire, power maps, carer effectiveness rating scale and program evaluation interview guide. The participants pre- and post- tested themselves on the variables of empowerment and carer-effectiveness. The group ran for a contracted period of six weeks and the members met twice each week. The study realised its aims and research hypotheses. The research encouraged voluntary community participation. It operated on the principle of non-coerciveness, non-hierarchy, decentralisation, spontaneous leadership and it took into account members' psychological issues. From sessions themes which were presented and analysed, it was evident that the study yielded positive results. It led to participants feeling confident and effective in their role of caring. Participants were empowered in that they were involved in the designing of the program, leading sessions and gaining influence over events and outcomes of importance to them. The mutual-aid group program empowered participants to be able to empower other carers, as most of the participants in the present research committed themselves to starting more groups of the same kind. In that way, they will be cascading the skills and knowledge they gained from the group. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NRF en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Terminally-ill persons. en_US
dc.subject Caregivers-terminally-ill. en_US
dc.subject Health promotion. en_US
dc.subject Mutual-aid groups en_US
dc.title A health promoting mutual-aid group for carers of terminally-ill persons en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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