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

Morris, Bronwyn A. and Campbell, Meredith and Dwyer, Megan and Dunn, Jeffrey ORCID: 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). pp. 660-674. ISSN 1359-107X


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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 00:26
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2017 00:26
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3211 Oncology and carcinogenesis > 321199 Oncology and carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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