An exploratory study on the effectiveness of self-help groups in the rehabilitation of the ex-mentally ill

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An exploratory study on the effectiveness of self-help groups in the rehabilitation of the ex-mentally ill

 

Author: Leung, Lai-fun Judy
Title: An exploratory study on the effectiveness of self-help groups in the rehabilitation of the ex-mentally ill
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2000
Subject: Mentally ill -- Rehabilitation -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Self-help groups -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Nursing and Health Sciences
Pages: viii, 157 leaves ; 31 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1517851
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3929
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of self-help groups in the rehabilitation of the ex-mentally ill. The Christian Oi Hip Fellowship Ltd., which is formed by the ex-mentally ill, and pioneers the self-help movement in Hong Kong, was chosen as the target group for the present study. A qualitative approach was adopted, using data triangulation with the combination of individual interviews of clients and focus group interviews of professionals and volunteers of the organization, to increase the quality and reliability of the data. The interviews were undertaken using semi-structured interview guides developed by the researcher. Twelve members of the self-help groups were recruited by purposeful sampling. Five major categories emerged: the meaning of self-help; experience of self-help group involvement; most impressive experience; changes in life; and commitment. Two focus groups for the professionals and another two focus groups for the volunteers were conducted in order to obtain a more comprehensive picture about their views on the effectiveness of self-help groups. The major categories which emerged were; the meaning of self-help; therapeutic factor, therapeutic process; facilitators' expectation; and difficulties encountered. Results indicated that self-help group involvement provided positive experiences for the members and led to some changes in their lives, which contribute to the rehabilitation of their illness. Meanwhile, the professionals' and volunteers' view of the use of self-help groups was found to coincide with previous literature. Moreover, a spiritual dimension was expressed by all respondents as one of the factors that enhanced the group cohesiveness. It was concluded that self-help group involvement is beneficial to psychiatric rehabilitation. Findings have implications for further utilization of self-help groups for the ex-mentally ill, as it is an alternative form of informal health care to complement the loopholes in the present health service delivery mechanism. Other implications and direction for future research are discussed.

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