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J R Soc Med. 1991 May; 84(5): 288–291.
PMCID: PMC1293228

Self-help, mutual aid and chronic patients' clubs in Croatia, Yugoslavia: discussion paper.


This paper describes the clubs for patients with hypertension which have operated effectively in parts of Croatia and Slovenia (Yugoslavia) for more than 15 years, with many thousands of patients enrolling voluntarily. Based on the principle of self-help, yet involving the regular participation of members of a patient's own primary health team, they increase compliance with long-term treatment regimens and improve the quality of life. Such programmes are capable of reducing the amount of time devoted by a medical practitioner while increasing the effectiveness of treatments. If they are to succeed, it is essential to ensure regular club meetings, social activities and encouragement to each individual member to find a role and to continue attending for as long as possible. A new life style and consequent benefits to health are obtained only through long membership.

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  • Kulcar Z, Bijelić D, Grahovac V, Matesa S, Drozdjek D. Suzbijanje esencijalne arterijske hipertenzije u samozastitnoj jedinci mjesne zajednice. Lijec Vjesn. 1978 Mar;100(3):199–205. [PubMed]

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