Description of Practice Report: Fostering Self-Help at a Distance for Adults with Visual Impairments
Participation in self-help groups has been associated with improved health and well- being among persons with chronic illnesses or disabilities. For example, older people with visual impairments (that is, those who are blind or have low vision) who participate in support groups have been found to have greater coping ability and satisfaction with their activities and a more positive outlook on life than have older people who do not participate in such groups (Van Zandt, Van Zandt, & Wang, 1994). Weiss (1989) cited such benefits as learning to deal with problems and needs, developing coping strategies, combating isolation, and getting to know others. She concluded that “individuals with vision loss have embraced the concept of self-help as a valuable exchange of practical information and emotional support” (p. 97).