The IJOVA Volume XXIV, Number 2


In This Issue:“Volunteerism and Health Care,”R. Dale Safrit, Ed.D. ... link to pdf


“If I can see further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants,” R. Dale Safrit, Ed.D. ... link to pdf


Long Term Care Ombudsman Volunteers: Making a Measurable Difference for Nursing Home Residents
Priscilla D. Allen, Ph.D., Baton Rouge, LA, USA
This study investigates the roles and participation of volunteers in a Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) and assesses if differences exist between nursing homes with and without volunteer ombudsmen. Volunteers are found to favorably influence the environment in nursing homes by encouraging a supportive climate in which residents and their representatives can voice complaints. Furthermore, the working relationships between unpaid advocates and regulators are viewed as beneficial in illuminating and addressing problems. The study evaluates Connecticut‘s operating facilities (N=261) with 180 volunteers, and finds those with increased volunteer presence also have significant higher sanctioning activity. The study promotes volunteer advocacy and serves as a step toward improving the status of nursing home care through volunteer presence. The power of the volunteer in the LTCOP in enhancing both the program and mission may provide insight to other volunteer organizations, particularly those serving members of our aging society. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteer ombudsmen, nursing homes, advocacy, long-term care

Volunteering in Public Health: An Analysis of Volunteers‘ Characteristics and Activities
Jesus Ramirez-Valles, Ph.D., Chicago, IL, USA
Despite current interest in social capital and health, little is known about volunteers in public health causes. This study describes public health areas and activities in which individuals volunteer, and assesses the volunteers‘ characteristics. Data were collected from a cross-sectional sample of Illinois residents (N = 605) through a random-digit-dialing telephone survey in 1999. Ninety-nine (16.3%) individuals volunteered for a health organization. The most common areas for volunteering included cancer and the elderly. The most frequent activities were fundraising and support to the sick. Higher income was the only significant predictor of volunteering after controlling for age, gender, race, marital status, and education. Public health-related organizations and volunteer administrators need to promote volunteerism among the disadvantaged. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteering, public health, volunteering, participation, community involvement

Focusing on the Health Benefits of Volunteering as a Recruitment Strategy
Judy Looman Swinson, Mt. Vernon, Ill, USA
There has been an upward trend in volunteering since 1998, with the most significant increase after the tragedies of September 11, 2001. Identifying and understanding the potential volunteer market and the motivational strategies needed to attract those volunteers will be key issues for the future of volunteerism. Fortunately, there is more evidence today than ever before that helping others has real health benefits. This paper will share the findings of a number of studies as well as insight into the generation most likely to be interested and influenced by this information. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteerism, seniors, health benefits, recruitment, motivation, baby boomers


Hospital Volunteers: A Qualitative Study of Motivation
Judith A. Blanchard, San Francisco, CA, USA
This exploratory qualitative study was conducted using in-depth individual interviews of hospital volunteers to determine motivations operative in their choice to volunteer in a hospital and to explore whether any significant differences in motivation could be ascertained on the basis of age or gender. The study further probed the satisfaction and needs of these volunteers relative to their choice and motivation. No clear differences in motivation were found on the basis of gender. Volunteer job satisfaction was favorable, and positive interactions with patients and staff were significant to that satisfaction. This study demonstrated that motivations to volunteer in a hospital are complex and often specific to the role adopted by the volunteer. ... link to pdf
Key Words: motivation, hospital volunteer, gender differences, generational differences

Knowledge and Attitudinal Impacts Upon Teen Volunteers Teaching Younger Youth in a Community-based Obesity and Overweight Prevention Education Program
Harriett C. Edwards, Ed.D., R. Dale Safrit, Ed.D., Joseph A. Gliem, Ph.D., and Carolyn Rudd
Researchers have documented positive effects of volunteering upon adult volunteers‘ personal health, yet no similar research has focused upon youth volunteers. The researchers developed a mixed-methodology to investigate knowledge and attitudinal changes among 43 teen volunteers teaching in a cross-peer, cross-generational program designed to educate 5-12 year old youth about obesity, fitness, and nutrition. The quantitative data showed an average gain of approximately .11 points between the pretest and the posttest, resulting in a small effect size of .2. Two overarching themes resulted from qualitative data analysis: (1) teen volunteer teachers increased knowledge regarding fitness and nutrition; and (2) teen volunteers learned more about themselves as teachers of younger youth. The researchers suggest that beyond the teaching activity success of the teen volunteers, the program also was successful in impacting positively the teen volunteers themselves regarding obesity, fitness, and nutrition. ... link to pdf
Key Words: teen volunteers, evaluation, obesity, health education


Instilling Social Responsibility Among Student Volunteers: A Singapore Hospice Experience
Michael Loh, Singapore
The author discusses how a Singapore hospice, in working with student volunteers, successfully diverted its volunteer efforts towards building society. The program has proven to be a successful tool in inculcating social responsibility among students who opt to do their community work at the hospice as part of a Community Involvement Programme (CIP). While some not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) and volunteer hosting organisations (VHOs) do not appear to recognize the value of CIP hours and student volunteers, others have leveraged such efforts to benefit both the organisation and its clients. The hospice has gone one step beyond by turning the described program into an effective tool to instill in student volunteers a sense of social responsibility, better preparing them for active citizenship. ... link to pdf
Key Words: hospice, social responsibility, community-involvement-programme, student volunteers


Book Review: Legal, Risk Management and JCAHO Issues for Healthcare Organizations, and Addendum I
Reviewed by Mary Kay Hood, Danville, IN, USA ... link to pdf


Volunteer Involvement in a Pandemic Influenza Disaster
Sue Wood, Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada
The engagement of volunteers during a disaster involves precise planning taking into consideration ethical issues, risk management, and the appropriateness of when and how volunteers should be utilized. During a pandemic influenza disaster, it is predicted that the first workers to become infected by the pandemic will be professional healthcare workers. Healthcare facilities must then plan for a depletion of professional workers at a time when patient numbers will escalate. This plan discussed how professional hospital workers can be supported through volunteer involvement. ... link to pdf
Key Words: disaster, pandemic, healthcare, risk management


Psychosocial Support: A Crucial Component for the Successful Management of AIDs Volunteers
Tommy J. Breaux (1993/1994)
A multidisciplinary approach in the support of AIDS volunteers is discussed employing three dimensions: educational, social and psychological. This approach was developed by the Foundation for Interfaith Research and Ministry (FIRM) in Houston, Texas, to combat volunteer burnout and attrition often exhibited by volunteers when serving clients with AIDS and other chronic, debilitating diseases. An examination of the specific goals and tasks required of volunteer managers/coordinators to utilize this approach are outlined. Although these three components of support were implemented for AIDS volunteers, they can easily be modified to suit virtually any type of volunteer environment and are appropriate tools to enhance a variety of volunteer settings. Ideas and suggestions as to how this psychosocial model of support can be adapted for an organization's use are included. ... link to pdf
Key Words: HIV, AIDS, management, volunteers

Partners in Caring: Administration of a Hospital-based Volunteer Program for the Education of Cancer Patients
Joyce Nyhof-Young, Ph.D. & Jennifer M. Jones, Ph.D. Jennifer M. Jones, Ph.D., and Pamela Catton, M.D. (2003) ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteer administration, cancer, patient education

Volunteering for the Future: The Impact on Young Volunteers of Volunteering in Paediatric Palliative Care
Rosalind C. Scott & Denise Burgin (2004) ... link to pdf
Key Words: hospice, palliative care, youth volunteers

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