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J Educ Health Promot. 2019 Sep 30;8:186. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_35_19. eCollection 2019.

Health information needs assessment among self-help groups and willingness for involvement in health promotion in a rural setting in Puducherry: A mixed-method study.

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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India.



Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over their own health. Community involvement in social and environmental interventions tends to improve people's health and quality of life. Self-help groups (SHGs) primarily focus on microfinancing, thereby acting as a catalyst in bringing backward society to the mainstream. They possess huge potential to influence the health of the community.


The objective of the study is to assess the willingness among SHGs for the involvement in health promotion activities and to assess their health information needs.


A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted during September 2017 in rural Puducherry. All 86 SHGs in four selected villages were covered, and their leaders were interviewed using a structured questionnaire on functioning of SHGs and their health information needs. Willingness for health promotion activities was rated on an interest scale (1-100).


Among the 86 heads of SHGs interviewed, 81 SHGs (94.1%) were registered. They were mainly involved in microfinancing. Health information needs expressed were cancer detection (45%), diabetes (60%), hypertension (56%) and vector-borne diseases (63%). When asked to rate their willingness on an interest scale for health promotion activities, nearly 64% showed a great interest (i.e., score > 60). Majority were willing to work for noncommunicable disease-related activities such as provision of drugs (86%) and for screening of various cancers (84%).


This study has shown that majority of SHG members have expressed willingness for the involvement in health-related activities, thereby can be utilized as an important resource for health promotion in rural areas.


Health promotion; self-help groups; willingness

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