Group support during caring and post-caring - the role of carers groups

Larkin, Mary (2008). Group support during caring and post-caring - the role of carers groups. Groupwork, 17(2) pp. 28–51.



This article discusses the findings about the role of face-to-face carers groups which emerged from a qualitative, interpretive study of 37 former carers’ experiences. The study was informed by grounded theory and semi-structured in-depth interviews were used as the main method of data collection. The advantages and disadvantages of carers groups during caring and post-caring that were identified are presented. These include the nature of the support they provided for their members, their limitations and ways in which they can be developed in order to meet the needs of carers and former carers. The concepts of social integration and social support are used to supplement the interviewees’ explanations of the beneficial effects of carers groups. Following the discussions, suggestions are made about further research into increasing the effectiveness of carers groups’ in meeting the needs of those who are caring and their previously unrecognized role in meeting post-caring needs.

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