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Title: Marketing the service : basic social process in health visiting.
Author: Cuesta, C. de la
ISNI:       0000 0001 3399 824X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 1992
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The present study was undertaken to provide an understanding of the processes underlying health visiting practice. The research strategy selected was grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss 1967, Strauss 1987, Strauss and Corbin 1990). A total of 21 female health visitors from a District Health Authority in the North West of England participated in the study. Data was collected by means of 20 formal interviews and 41 days of participant observation in four different health centres. To recognize the basic social process in any interaction is one of the major aspects of grounded theory. This requires the identification of the "Phenomenon" which motivates the development of a process and the conditions under which it operates. The basic problem or phenomenon in health visiting uncovered in the data was "Securing Life Trajectories". This forms the core of the health visitor's work. The general set of conditions that influence health visiting work was identified as "Working Between Two Worlds". This is used to describe the health visitor's position between the policy agenda and the client's agenda. The process revealed in the data that health visitors use to respond to this overall problem was "Marketing Health Visiting". This refers to the different tactics that they use to introduce the policy agenda into the client's domain. During this process the policy agenda is adjusted to fit the client's circumstances. Three major strategies are identified in this process: 1) Promoting the service, 2) Adjusting delivery and 3) Tailoring the content. This study found that "Marketing Health Visiting" is a gradual process in which the health visitor wins grounds as time passes. As marketing strategies are implemented the conditions influencing the interaction change. Hence it moves from taking place in what is labelled in this study as "Dissociated Context", to a "Convergent Context" and finally to a "Shared Context". The final consequence of implementing marketing strategies is that of constructing "A Common Agenda" with clients. This agenda is basically the personalisation and contextualization of health visiting services. To build this common agenda it is of crucial importance that the client should see and feel the need for the health visiting service as well as the development of trust between the professional and the client. Hence the relationship that is developed between them acts as an enabling factor for reaching mutual collaboration. The discussion of the study focuses on its significance within the actual debate on health visiting about introducing new ways of practice. The health visitor's overall role is examined and the importance of developing relationships with clients is also highlighted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Health services & community care services