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Self-help and self-help groups for people with long-lasting health problems or mental health difficulties in a Nordic context: A review
Nord Trondelag Univ Coll, Fac Hlth Sci, N-7601 Levanger, Norway .
Telemark Univ Coll, Porsgrunn, Norway .
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6558-3129
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 39, no 8, p. 813-822Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: The aim of this review is to provide systematic knowledge of research from Nordic countries about the meaning of self-help and self-help groups when these are used as a concept or method addressing issues related to long-lasting health problems or mental health difficulties. Methods: Included were studies conducted in the Nordic countries that were published between January 1999 and September 2009. These studies investigated self-help and self-help groups addressing issues related to long-lasting health problems. Results: A total of 83 publications met the inclusion criteria. Four major characteristics of self-help were found to be present in the publications: self-help as an intrapsychological process, self-help as an interpsychological or group process, self-help as a coping, individual learning or empowerment process, and self-help as an alternative or complement to medical treatment. Of the 83 studies, 72 publications used a professional treatment perspective for studying self-help and 11 publications used a perspective derived from alternative or complementary therapies. Conclusions: The review shows that most of the research on self-help and self-help groups for people with long-lasting health problems or disability is conducted with an interest to improve the professional healthcare system. That is, the health-promotion strategy is mainly considered in the framework of treatment or care settings. This means that self-help in this context does not challenge the dominant biomedical health model. © 2011 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 39, no 8, p. 813-822
Keywords [en]
Alternative therapy, chronic disease, complementary therapy, coping, disability, empowerment, mental health, self-help, self-help groups
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-15302DOI: 10.1177/1403494811425603ISI: 000297423600004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-82355163094OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-15302DiVA, id: diva2:466380
Available from: 2011-12-15 Created: 2011-12-15 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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