The Caring Corner: Developing a Peer-Support/Self-Management Group for Adults with Chronic Conditions & Their Caregivers in Rural Texas




Madson, Mykala

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Rural communities often experience higher rates of chronic disease and greater barriers to healthcare access and resources than their urban counterparts. However, peer-support groups with an emphasis on chronic disease self-management skills have been shown to provide positive outcomes for adults with chronic disease and their caregivers in rural settings. This occupational therapy doctoral capstone project focused on program development and education via the creation of a peer-support group for adults with chronic diseases and their caregivers in a rural Texas county. Program content included but was not limited to the following: presentations over self-management topics such as nutrition and exercise, handouts on local and online resources related to topics such as nutrition and exercise, and disease-specific informational packets with self-management tips. All attendees provided positive feedback regarding the program’s content, and several attendees expressed that they would implement various information from the sessions into their health routines. This capstone project demonstrates the continued need for and benefit of low-cost and sustainable peer-support groups within rural communities.



Program development, Peer-support group, Self-management education, Chronic disease, Caregiver education, Rural health, Community-based intervention