GENIE generates user involvement, engagement, and connections with existing and new social network
members. It draws on both online and offline resources. It aims to improve people’s connections and
access to a range of untapped resources and activities useful for managing a long-term condition.
Through new contacts and thinking differently about how to interact with existing network members,
individuals can improve their capacity to self-manage. The intervention has the potential to reduce
inappropriate use of costly services where they are of limited use in providing support.
GENIE helps to maximise individual and network engagement; build individual awareness of network
structure and sources of support; and enhance people’s capacity to navigate and negotiate relationships
What are the premises of the GENIE approach?
To be non-directive. Directive approaches where people are told what they need to do fail to
To be visually appealing. The network mapping technique visualises relationships that people
care about and rely on and thus encourages people to think about health and well-being in
relation to what they value in their everyday lives.
To prioritise social support. Prioritising social support over specific illness support is more
likely to engage people and to be of benefit to them over the longer term.
To allow opportunities for giving something back to others. Engagement with other people and
with new activities is best when there are opportunities for reciprocity.
To reduce choice. Reducing the complexity and information overload about online and offline
activities and support that might be available, and tailoring them to their own preferences and
What are the stages of the GENIE approach?
Creating network maps to prompt reflexive engagement of individuals with the nature of their
Identifying gaps, needs and preferences for social support and engagement.
Navigating to on-line and off-line resources tailored to user preferences, personal circumstances,
network structure, and negotiation of network involvement.
How is GENIE delivered?
GENIE works best when delivered by trained lay facilitators. Some users may find aspects of GENIE
useful even when completed without the support of a trained facilitator.