Skip to main content

Table 1 GENIE elements

From: Implementing a social network intervention designed to enhance and diversify support for people with long-term conditions. A qualitative study

Elements Details Theory of how it works
Filter questions The process starts with questions to provide details of the user’s context. This includes postcode; gender; age and health condition. • Providing filter questions allows tailoring of suggestions and helps to reduce choice at the preference stage.
Concentric circles: Stage 1
Social network members (family, friends, groups, professionals) are represented and mapped, depending on subjective importance, onto three concentric circles. Details of relationship and frequency of contact are recorded. • To explore everyday relationships and how network members contribute to support
• To note change over time
• To provide a visual image to enable engagement
• To help people become conscious and reflexive of contributions made by others to self-management support (SMS)
• As starting point for a discussion about how to extend existing support, access support from new sources, or change existing practice.
• Support work can be: illness-related (taking medications and measurements, understanding symptoms, making appointments); everyday (housekeeping, child rearing, support for diet and exercise, shopping, personal care); or emotional (comforting when worried or anxious, well-being, companionship).
Typologies: Stage 1 Feedback and a summary is provided on network types: • To help people become conscious and reflexive of network structure and availability of SMS
• Act as a prompt for healthcare professionals and others to take action where there are obviously fragile networks
Diverse - family, friends, and community groups with regular frequent contact;
Friend and/or family centred – mainly friends and/or family members with regular contact and support;
Friend and/or family contact - some mostly friends and/or family members with limited or patchy support;
Isolated or professional contacts only
Preferences: Stages 2,3,4
The user co-produces and owns the network map. • Non-intrusive methods are more effective than highly directive approaches which often fail because they do not deal with existing relationships to negotiate time and space for new activities (intimidating to attempt by oneself) or needing help with transport
• The user is made a capable and willing to reciprocate participant
• To reduce choice and complexities arising from information overload counterproductive for learning, social engagement and social support particularly where there is poor health literacy.
Choices are tailored using a series of questions and based on preference and enjoyment rather than on health-based need. For example, the facilitator prompts by asking:
“Are there things you used to do that you don’t do anymore? What stopped you from continuing to do these things?”
This gives clues about how to identify the most relevant type of support, the likely barriers they may encounter, and how to encourage them to restart these activities.
Network members are selected as potential buddies to accompany them to new activities.
Asked to select the three activities or resources they are most interested in and agree to try them out. The locations of the activities are displayed on a Google-based map.
Links to Voluntary and Community Organisations (VCOs): Stages 2,3,4 The preference questions link to community resources in a pre-created database. • Diverse networks which include VCOs enhance health and well-being through providing access to new acquaintances for advice, support and links to resources are often missing where there is reliance on strong family ties.
• Support from VCOs is non-clinical.
• Specific benefits for people who are isolated.
Categories in the database include: activities and hobbies, health, learning, support, independent living and volunteering