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Title: The underlying psychological processes of peer support in stroke
Author: Marshall, Carys Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 170X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2017
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Purpose: Stroke is a major global health problem and peer support interventions are becoming increasingly common as a model of support in health services. However, little is understood about the underlying concepts of peer support and how interventions utilise theoretical constructs in their development and evaluation. This paper aims to review studies evaluating peer support in stroke to determine which theories and models are being used to underpin the research and the functions they fulfil. Subsequently, the theories will be evaluated using standard criteria. Method: A theoretical review was conducted with systematic methodologies. Databases MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, CINAHL and Web of Science were searched to identify relevant literature using terms associated with both 'Stroke' and 'Peer Support'. Peer reviewed empirical studies (qualitative and quantitative) were included in the review if they either explicitly or implicitly referred to a theoretical concept in their study. Results: Nineteen papers explicitly (9) or implicitly (10) referred to a particular theoretical framework. The most frequently cited theory was social comparison theory with social learning theory and the stress-coping model also being repeatedly used. The theoretical approach highlighted these dominant three theories and emphasised key principles that may provide a more comprehensive explanation of why peer support is effective for stroke survivors and carers. The review demonstrated that there may be common elements within the theories; (a) having homogeneity within the groups (b) having a sense of similarity amongst peers and (c) the extent to which role models are perceived to be authentic. This may offer a pathway towards defining and conceptualising SPS within empirical research studies. Conclusions: The theoretical review emphasised the importance of theory use to understand behaviour change. The review also went some way to developing new understandings about the theories for SPS. The results suggest that three theories underpin some of the peer support processes thought to make the peer support model effective. However, only tentative conclusions can be drawn about the utility of the theories due to the issues outlined in the summary of findings and limitations of the review.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available