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Benefits of a self-help group for rural Thai elders with Type-2 Diabetes Open Access


Author or creator
Sukwatjanee, A.
Pongthavornkamol, K.
Low, G.
Suwonnaroop, N.
Pinyopasakul, W.
Chokkhanchitchai, S.
Additional contributors
Type-2 diabetes
Quality of life
Blood glucose levels
Self-help group
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
The objectives of this participatory action research, with rural Thai elders with type-2 diabetes, were to: (a) explore perspectives of the elders with respect to how taking part in a self-help group on diabetes affected their self-care ability and quality of life; and, (b) compare self-efficacy and quality of life scores, and blood glucose levels, of the elders, before and after participation in a self-help group on diabetes. The research was undertaken in light of the fact that: Thailand’s 2007-2011 national health plan promotes identification of needs for, and development of, community self-help groups for rural elders; and, rural Thai elders, with type-2 diabetes, face multiple self-care barriers and complications, which put them at risk for poor health and decreased quality of life.Critical Social Theory was used as the guiding framework for the study. Data were gathered through use of a self-help group and questionnaires. Twenty participants were selected, from a database of elders with type-2 diabetes, who were registered at the community health care center of a rural village, in central Thailand. Participants took part in the self-help group, every other week, for 6 months. Qualitative data, from the self-help group meetings and observations, were analyzed via content analysis. Quantitative data, including fasting blood sugar levels and data from questionnaires assessing the elders’ self-efficacy and quality of life, obtained prior to and after completion of the self-help group, were analyzed through use of paired-samples t-test. Upon completion of the self-help group, four themes emerged from the qualitative data. The themes included: obtained culturally-sensitive knowledge; perceived social support; perceived sense of empowerment; and, perceived self-efficacy. The results revealed positive self-efficacy enabled participants to improve their self-care activities. In addition, the quantitative data suggested participants, after completion of the self-help group, had higher self-efficacy and quality of life scores, as well as lower fasting blood sugar levels. Thus, the use of a community-based self-help group appeared to be an effective health promotion strategy for rural Thai elders with type-2 diabetes.
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Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported

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Sukwatjanee, A., Pongthavornkamol, K., Low, G., Suwonnaroop, N., Pinyopasakul, W., and Chokkanchitchai, S. (2011). Benefits of a self-help group for rural Thai elders with Type-2 Diabetes. Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, 15(3), 220-232.
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