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ERIC Number: EJ957825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0090-4392
Expanding Self-Help Group Participation in Culturally Diverse Urban Areas: Media Approaches to Leveraging Referent Power
Humphreys, Keith; Macus, Sue; Stewart, Eric; Oliva, Elizabeth
Journal of Community Psychology, v32 n4 p413-424 Jul 2004
Accumulating research attests to the benefits of self-help groups for people who have various chronic health problems. Expansion of self-help group participation may enable a broader portion of society to experience these health benefits. The Media and Education for Self-Help (MESH) Project was an effort to increase interest in health-related self-help groups among middle- and lower-income people in two California urban areas with minority-majority populations. A diverse coalition of self-help group leaders designed English- and Spanish-language radio public service announcements and posters that were disseminated in Oakland and Los Angeles. The outcome measures in each urban area were self-help-group-related telephone inquiries to local information and referral agencies (English and Spanish language) and the number of individuals attending self-help groups at agencies hosting many groups. Telephone caller data were also gathered in a nonintervention control urban area (Sacramento). Los Angeles experienced an overall increase in telephone calls about self-help groups during the MESH intervention, whereas the control urban area had no change in the number of telephone calls over the same period. The initial sharp increase in self-help-group-related telephone calls was not sustained in Oakland, however. The number of Spanish-language calls about self-help groups increased 821% in Los Angeles and 149% in Oakland in the period from the 6 months that preceded the project through the first 6 months of the MESH Project. In the MESH Project urban areas, the number of visits to self-help groups was significantly higher in intervention months than in the same calendar months of the preceding year, particularly in Oakland, where the increase exceeded 300 visits to self-help groups per month. These intriguing findings are discussed in terms of their health policy and program evaluation implications. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California