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Peer Support Workers in Health: A Qualitative Metasynthesis of Their Experiences

MacLellan, J; Surey, J; Abubakar, I; Stagg, HR; (2015) Peer Support Workers in Health: A Qualitative Metasynthesis of Their Experiences. PLoS One , 10 (10) , Article e0141122. 10.1371/journal.pone.0141122. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Peer support models, where an individual has a specific illness or lifestyle experience and supports others experiencing similar challenges, have frequently been used in different fields of healthcare to successfully engage hard-to-reach groups. Despite recognition of their value, the impact of these roles on the peer has not been systematically assessed. By synthesising the qualitative literature we sought to review such an impact, providing a foundation for designing future clinical peer models. METHODS: Systematic review and qualitative metasynthesis of studies found in Medline, CINAHL or Scopus documenting peer worker experiences. RESULTS: 1,528 papers were found, with 34 meeting the criteria of this study. Findings were synthesised to reveal core constructs of reframing identity through reciprocal relations and the therapeutic use of self, enhancing responsibility. CONCLUSIONS: The ability of the Peer Support Worker to actively engage with other marginalised or excluded individuals based on their unique insight into their own experience supports a therapeutic model of care based on appropriately sharing their story. Our findings have key implications for maximising the effectiveness of Peer Support Workers and in contributing their perspective to the development of a therapeutic model of care.

Type: Article
Title: Peer Support Workers in Health: A Qualitative Metasynthesis of Their Experiences
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141122
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0141122
Additional information: © 2015 MacLellan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474349
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