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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Disability and Rehabilitation on 10/05/2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09638288.2019.1611954

    Accepted author manuscript, 454 KB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 10/05/20

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Being a peer support mentor for individuals who have had a lower limb amputation: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/05/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Disability and Rehabilitation
Number of pages8
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date10/05/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Purpose: Although peer support has received research attention within different health related contexts, there is limited research considering individuals who have experienced an amputation. In particular, the peer mentoring role is under-explored. Therefore, this research aimed to explore the experiences of participants delivering peer support interventions to individuals with lower limb loss. Methods: Eight people who acted as peer mentors for people with limb loss took part in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results: Two overarching themes were identified from the data: “Developing a Helpful Self”, in which the personal value and meaning of being a peer mentor is presented, and “Connecting with Vulnerability”, which addresses the emotional challenges of peer mentoring and the impact of these on wellbeing. Conclusions: Findings suggest positive experiences of providing support, including increased hope, resilience and a sense of belonging and connection to others. However, peer mentors experienced challenges related to uncertainty and doubt about their mentoring abilities and with developing and maintaining resilience in the role. Recommendations include the development of training packages and increased clarity for volunteers of the peer mentor role.Implications for rehabilitation It is important to define clearly the role of a peer mentor and the responsibilities this involves. Peer mentors should be provided with support and training to increase their confidence and ability to act appropriately when encountering distress. It is important to provide transparent guidelines and procedures to support peer mentors to minimize concerns over risk and safety. Feedback regarding how effective the support offered is and how it could be improved should be provided.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Disability and Rehabilitation on 10/05/2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09638288.2019.1611954