Survivor identity and post-traumatic growth after participating in challenge-based peer-support programmes

Morris, Bronwyn A., Campbell, Meredith, Dwyer, Megan, Dunn, Jeffrey and Chambers, Suzanne K. (2011) Survivor identity and post-traumatic growth after participating in challenge-based peer-support programmes. British Journal of Health Psychology, 16 3: 660-674. doi:10.1348/2044-8287.002004


Author Morris, Bronwyn A.
Campbell, Meredith
Dwyer, Megan
Dunn, Jeffrey
Chambers, Suzanne K.
Title Survivor identity and post-traumatic growth after participating in challenge-based peer-support programmes
Journal name British Journal of Health Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1359-107X
2044-8287
Publication date 2011-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1348/2044-8287.002004
Volume 16
Issue 3
Start page 660
End page 674
Total pages 15
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives. The social construction of breast cancer (BC) survivor identity has produced a powerful image of woman as survivor. Group membership through peer-support programmes can provide positive role models, shape survivor identity and promote post-traumatic growth (PTG). The main objective of this study was to conduct a qualitative investigation based on a phenomenological framework in order to understand the lived experience of BC survivors participating in a peer-support programme based on a challenge event.

Design. This is a qualitative semi-structured and written narrative study. Interviews were subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis and the written narratives via thematic analysis.

Method. Interviews were conducted with 27 participants who were new to the peer-support event for women diagnosed with BC, and 10 participants who had taken part in multiple events provided written narratives of their experience. Interviews and surveys were completed pre- and post-event.

Results. Important elements of the peer-support environment included a safe network of other survivors, which provided understanding and acceptance. Overcoming challenges during the event and the opportunity to bond with positive role models affirmed a strong survivor identity and promoted PTG. For some participants, a shift in identity was evident with a newfound positive identification with the term BC survivor.

Conclusions. Peer-support programmes based on challenge events have the potential to extend the type of supportive care that is available for women diagnosed with BC by providing an alternative to the traditional support group format.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
 
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