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

Richardson, L.-J. and Molyneaux, V. and Murray, C.D. (2019) Being a peer support mentor for individuals who have had a lower limb amputation : an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Disability and Rehabilitation, 42 (26). pp. 3850-3857. ISSN 0963-8288

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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.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Disability and Rehabilitation
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Disability and Rehabilitation on 10/05/2019, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? limb losspeer mentorpeer visitorqualitativesocial supportvolunteerrehabilitation ??
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Deposited On:
22 Jun 2019 09:14
Last Modified:
15 May 2024 03:03