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Participants’ experiences of and perceived value regarding different support types for long-term condition self-management programmes

Lookup NU author(s): Stephen Hughes


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Objectives: Health professional-led group programmes are a common form of long-term condition self-management support. Much research has focused on clinical outcomes of group participation, yet there is limited research on how group participants perceive and experience the support they receive. We aim to identify the different types of support that participants receive from both facilitators and other participants, and how they value this support.MethodsSemi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants taking part in a self-management group programme for a long-term condition (obesity, type 2 diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Data pertaining to support types were deductively identified through a social support framework prior to interpretive thematic analysis.ResultsParticipants identified information and emotional support from both facilitators and other participants as complementary yet distinct. Facilitators’ support came from professional training and other participants’ support reflected the contextual, lived experience. Professional interactions were prioritised, constraining opportunities for participant–participant support to be received and exchanged.DiscussionWe identified a key gap in how self-management support is enacted in groups. Engaging participants to share experiential knowledge will make group support more relevant and mutually beneficial to participants living with a long-term condition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hughes S, Lewis S, Willis K, Rogers A, Wyke S, Smith L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Chronic Illness

Year: 2021

Volume: 17

Issue: 3

Pages: 242-256

Print publication date: 01/09/2021

Online publication date: 19/08/2019

Acceptance date: 09/07/2019

ISSN (print): 1742-3953

ISSN (electronic): 1745-9206

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/1742395319869437


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