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Title: Encouraging participation in a community health programme
Author: Elsey, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3446 9569
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2006
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There is a strong belief among practitioners and some evidence in the literature of the benefits of community participation; particularly its ability to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of health programmes as well as the health and well-being of those participating. However, when attempting to develop a programme to effectively encourage participation within all aspects of the design and delivery of its services, there is much less evidence to guide the practitioner or policy maker. This study aims to identify factors which enable and constraints which restrict community participation within a health programme in a regeneration area in the South of England. The study used an action research approach, with seven co-researchers of different seniority levels and a community member. Three main areas of findings emerge from the study data: firstly, the interpretations and motivations for participation from community members and public and voluntary sector staff led to the development of a new dynamic definition of participation as a journey. Secondly, the findings on the success, or otherwise, of interventions to encourage participation have led to the conceptualisation of participation as a system in which all components must be developed in order to progress towards a fully participatory programme. Finally, the longitudinal and in-depth nature of the action research process allowed the mergence of findings on the factors which encourage and conversely, discourage the development of a participatory programme. In particular these focus on the nature of the regeneration area, the level of influence of front-line staff within the organisation, the levels of empathy and professionalism among those working with communities and the extent of organisational commitment to participation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available