Making sense of recovery after traumatic brain injury through a peer mentoring intervention: a qualitative exploration

Journal article


Kersten, P., Cummins, C., Kayes, N., Babbage, D., Elder, H., Foster, A., Weatherall, M., Siegert, R. J., Smith, G. and McPherson, K. 2018. Making sense of recovery after traumatic brain injury through a peer mentoring intervention: a qualitative exploration. BMJ Open. 8 (10). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020672
AuthorsKersten, P., Cummins, C., Kayes, N., Babbage, D., Elder, H., Foster, A., Weatherall, M., Siegert, R. J., Smith, G. and McPherson, K.
Abstract

Objective

To explore the acceptability of peer mentoring for people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in New Zealand.

Design

This is a qualitative descriptive study exploring the experiences reported by mentees and mentors taking part in a feasibility study of peer mentoring. Interviews with five mentees and six mentors were carried out. Data were analysed using conventional content analysis.

Setting The first mentoring session took place predischarge from the rehabilitation unit. The remaining five sessions took place in mentees’ homes or community as preferred.

Participants

Twelve people with TBI took part: six mentees (with moderate to severe TBI; aged 18–46) paired with six mentors (moderate to severe TBI >12 months previously; aged 21–59). Pairing occurred before mentee discharge from postacute inpatient brain injury rehabilitation. Mentors had been discharged from rehabilitation following a TBI between 1 and 5 years previously.

Intervention

The peer mentoring programme consisted of up to six face-to-face sessions between a mentee and a mentor over a 6-month period. The sessions focused on building rapport, exploring hopes for and supporting participation after discharge through further meetings and supported community activities.

Results

Data were synthesised into one overarching theme: making sense of recovery. This occurred through the sharing of experiences and stories; was pivotal to the mentoring relationship; and appeared to benefit both mentees and mentors. Mentors were perceived as valued experts because of their personal experience of injury and recovery, and could provide support in ways that were different from that provided by clinicians or family members. Mentors required support to manage the uncertainties inherent in the role.

Conclusions

The insight mentors developed through their own lived experience established them as a trusted and credible source of hope and support for people re-engaging in the community post-TBI. These findings indicate the potential for mentoring to result in positive outcomes.

KeywordsTraumatic brain injury; TBI; Peer mentoring
Year2018
JournalBMJ Open
Journal citation8 (10)
PublisherBMJ Publishing Group
ISSN2044-6055
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020672
Official URLhttps://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/10/e020672
Publication dates
Online10 Oct 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted21 Aug 2018
Deposited21 Apr 2022
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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