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Participants' experiences of hospital-based peer support groups for stroke patients and carers

Morris, Reg and Morris, Paula 2012. Participants' experiences of hospital-based peer support groups for stroke patients and carers. Disability & Rehabilitation 34 (4) , pp. 347-354. 10.3109/09638288.2011.607215

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Purpose: The aim was to examine stroke patients’, carers’ and volunteer supporters’ experiences of peer support groups during hospital rehabilitation. Methods: Semi-structured interviews and questionnaires were analysed by inductive thematic analysis. Participants also answered a standardised Therapeutic Factors Inventory (TFI). Results: Five superordinate themes emerged for patients, carers and volunteer supporters. Three themes related to group processes; ‘practical issues’ (five subthemes), ‘staff presence’, ‘similarity-difference’, and comparison with other group members. ‘Value of peers’ (five subthemes) described beneficial outcomes. The ‘similarity-difference’ theme and four subthemes under ‘value of peers’ were related to items from the TFI which drew agreement from most participants. The supporters had some unique themes; two were concerned with group organisation, one was the experience of ‘being helpful to others’ and one described the experiences of training. As well as its links with themes, agreement with TFI items revealed experiences that did not emerge as themes; feeling secure, expressing emotions and increased independence. Conclusions: Participation in the group was experienced as beneficial by participants. Benefits included helpful information, advice, making new connections and increased awareness of stroke. Participants identified important group processes such as upward and downward comparison. Responses to the TFI suggested that attendance brought therapeutic gains.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Groups, peer support, stroke carers, stroke patients, stroke
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
ISSN: 0963-8288
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:04

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