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Title: An exploration of the mechanism by which community health workers bring health gain to service users in England
Author: Taylor, Rebecca Kate
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 9741
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis presents the findings of a qualitative exploration of how Community Health Workers (CHWs) conceptualise their role in delivering health improvement. The characteristics of CHWs described in the literature, and their role in health improvement, are examined critically. Interview data from 27 CHWs and 15 others across four services is used to explore the health improvement mechanism from the perspective of CHWs. Theory from a range of disciplines is used to explain it. The literature provides incomplete accounts of the mechanism. The empirical work suggests that, in the services sampled, the mechanism may predominantly be one of social support (informational, instrumental, appraisal and emotional support). Three distinct and essential processes emerge (needs assessment, effective service provision, and client engagement). The analysis reports how who CHWs are, and what they do, appear to be important influences on the social support processes, and that CHWs may be better at delivering this kind of support than traditional professional workers, particularly to socially excluded individuals. Overall, this work suggests that CHWs may perform a unique role, as experts in social support. The proposed mechanism can be used to inform service design and evaluation, to maximise CHWs’ potential to deliver effective social support.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare ; RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine