Week 8, 9 and 10: Units Nine and Ten:  Working with Groups


An integral function of health promotion involves working with groups of people, both community members, hospital staff and patients and colleagues. An understanding of group dynamics are very important. It is vital to develop an understanding of groups work so that the group works effectively together for what it is trying to achieve, rather than allowing the dynamics to work against what it is trying to achieve.

Groups are also useful in health promotion because of cost-effectiveness and the ability to reach a wider audience. Groups can range in size from 2-3 people to several hundreds and can be homogenous (similar) or heterogeneous (different) in nature.

Group methods have been used by health educators to empower individuals, organisations and communities in key ways. These include:

• assisting individuals to modify or maintain health-related behaviour;

• providing a supportive setting for individuals sharing a common goal or problem;

• organising community or organisational members to improve their health literacy to identify and solve their own problems (community organisation); and

• organising individuals and groups to undertake macro-level social change, for example training community leaders or building strong coalitions or partnerships.

Please read the supplied reading.



Tabot, L and Verrinder, G (eds.) 2005 Promoting health: The Primary care Approach 3rd edn., Elsevier, Sydney. pp. 198-214



  • Describe the major group elements of group purpose, member interaction, and cohesion.

  • Examine how group members are affected by group norms.

  • Explain the usefulness of groups in promoting individual health.

  • Evaluate nursing behaviours that assist groups in promoting health for individuals.

  • Identify the groups constituting a community and illustrate links between them.

  • Describe the role of the nurse in working with established groups to meet community health goals.



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