peer support
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2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 96
Alec Sithole ◽  
Edward T. Chiyaka ◽  
Kumbirai Mabwe

Our study evaluates students’ approaches to and perceptions of the use of hands-on at-home laboratory kits (HALK) experiments, open-source computer-based simulations (OSCBS), and their combination (OSCBS-HALK) in undergraduate introductory asynchronous online physics courses. Anonymous survey data from students who had completed online physics courses with labs based on simulations, at-home lab kits, or both were collected using a modified version of the Learn Questionnaire (MVLQ). Findings in this study indicate that among the six scales (interest and relevance; peer support; staff enthusiasm and support; teaching for understanding; alignment; and constructive feedback) used to measure students’ perceptions of the teaching and learning environments, interest and relevance, peer support, and teaching for understanding had statistically significant different means across the three lab types. Post-hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test for the interest and relevance scale indicated that students viewed using a combination approach of OSCBS and HALK labs (M = 3.98, SD = 0.61) more significantly positive than using computer-simulated labs only (M = 3.56, SD = 0.75). Compared to other labs, computer-simulated labs were perceived to lead to a deep approach to learning. However, they had the lowest interest and relevance, peer support, and alignment ranking among the three lab groups. Thus, developing strategies to improve students’ engagement and ability to translate the simulations into physical processes is recommended for OSCBS.

2022 ◽  
Emily Banwell ◽  
Terry Hanley ◽  
Santiago De Ossorno Garcia ◽  
Charlotte Mindel ◽  
Thomas Kayll ◽  

BACKGROUND Young people are increasingly going online to seek out web-based support for their mental health and wellbeing. Peer support forums are popular with this age group, with young individuals valuing the fact that they are available 24/7, providing a safe and anonymous space for exploration. Currently, little systematic evaluation of the helpfulness of such groups in providing support has been conducted. OBJECTIVE This study examines the helpfulness of the support offered within web-based peer support forums for young people. It specifically investigates the self-reported user-ratings of helpfulness reported through the completion of a developing experience measure. The ratings are used to consider the further development of the measure and to reflect upon the overall helpfulness of the forums as indicated by the reported scores. METHODS The study makes use of routinely collected practice-based outcome data from online mental health forums for young people. These forums are hosted by the UK based web-based therapy and support service, A cross-sectional design has been employed to explore the outcomes that have been reported by those accessing the forums using a Peer Online Community Experience Measure (POCEM). To consider the helpfulness in general, a total of 23,443 completed POCEMs from the 2020 calendar year were used. A second dataset of 17,137 completed POCEMs from the same year was used to consider whether other indicators, such as the time of day of the post, had an impact upon the helpfulness rating. RESULTS Female users between the ages of 11 and 16 predominantly completed the POCEM. This is in keeping with the majority of those using the service. 74.6% of the scores on the POCEM indicated the individuals found the posts helpful, and there was some indication that males were more likely to report obtaining intrapersonal support, whilst females obtained interpersonal support. Further, the POCEM scores reflected the internal consistency of the measure and provided an insight into the way that young people made use of the peer support resource. For instance, posts were rated more helpful if individuals spent a longer time reading them, and the topics discussed changed throughout the day with more mental health issues being discussed later at night. CONCLUSIONS The results appear to demonstrate that overall, the young people involved in this study found web-based peer support helpful. They indicate that that peer support can provide an important strand of care within a supportive mental health ecosystem, particularly during time periods when in-person support is typically closed. However, caution is needed when interpreting the results of this study. Whilst such services are incredibly well used, they have received little research attention to date. As such, further investigation into what constitutes helpful and unhelpful peer support is needed.

2022 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
pp. 10-11
Marie Vigouroux ◽  
Kristina Amja ◽  
Richard B. Hovey

Introduction : Scoliosis in a condition where a curve develops in the spine. Adolescent girls affected by scoliosis are significantly more likely to require treatment such as bracing or surgery than their male counterparts. Curvy Girls is a peer support group for adolescent girls with scoliosis that allows them to engage with each other in a safe environment. Objectives : This study endeavours to explore the experiences of adolescent girls living with scoliosis who are Curvy Girls members and understand how this peer support group has affected their experience. Approach : Sixteen participants were recruited through a senior board member of Curvy Girls. Data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using an applied philosophical hermeneutic approach, a practice of uncovering insights from transformational conversation. Findings : We found that the participants’ sense of belonging to Curvy Girls did not depend on their level of involvement with the group. Whether they were leaders in their in-person local group, or simply following the organization on social media, seeing themselves represented allowed the participants to feel like they belonged to the group. Future Directions : These findings may help clinicians, healthcare professionals, and peer support organisations deepen their understanding of the perspectives of this specific population. This transformed understanding could lead to the instauration of care and services that are better adapted to this population’s needs, resulting in lessening the burden of the condition on the individual and their support system.  

Bjørn Ole Reid ◽  
Lars Eide Næss-Pleym ◽  
Karin Elvenes Bakkelund ◽  
Jostein Dale ◽  
Oddvar Uleberg ◽  

Abstract Background Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been shown to be elevated among first responders (Emergency Medical Services, fire service, police force) compared to the general population. Examining the prevalence of mental health issues in a work force with an elevated occupational risk is fundamental towards ensuring their wellbeing and implementing safeguard measures. The goal of this study is therefore to report the prevalence of depression, anxiety, posttraumatic development, and PTSD in Norwegian ambulance personnel. Methods This study is a cross-sectional, anonymous, web-based survey (Questback®), performed among operative personnel employed in the Emergency Medical Services in the Regional Health Trust of Central Norway between 18. February and 9. April 2021. The study was sent to 1052 eligible participants. Questions reported demographic data, a traumatic events exposure index, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (Depression), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale, Posttraumatic symptom scale (PTSD) and Posttraumatic change scale. Results The response rate in this study was 45.5% (n = 479/1052). The mean age of respondents was 37.1 years (std. 11.1) and 52.8% (n = 253) were male. Of the respondents, 80.6% (n = 386) were married or had a partner, and 91.6% (n = 439) reported having access to a peer support programme, with 34.9% (n = 167) reporting that they had utilized peer support. In this study, 5% (n = 24) showed a prevalence of manifest posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, while 8.6% (n = 41) reported moderate to severe depression and 2.9% (n = 14) presented moderate to severe symptoms of general anxiety. Of the respondents, 77.2% (n = 370) reported personal growth because of their work experiences. Conclusions This study indicates that Norwegian ambulance personnel report a prevalence of posttraumatic stress symptoms and depression, which is slightly higher for men, and lower for the female proportion in this study, when compared to an adult Norwegian population. The vast majority of respondents reported personal growth because of their work experience, and both the degree of peer support and having a partner seem to influence levels of posttraumatic stress and -development.

10.2196/26526 ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 6 (1) ◽  
pp. e26526
Kaylee Payne Kruzan ◽  
Janis Whitlock ◽  
Natalya N Bazarova ◽  
Aparajita Bhandari ◽  
Julia Chapman

Background Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a widespread behavior among adolescents and young adults. Although many individuals who self-injure do not seek treatment, there is evidence for web-based help-seeking through web-based communities and mobile peer support networks. However, few studies have rigorously tested the efficacy of such platforms on outcomes relevant for NSSI recovery. Objective The aim of this small-scale preregistered randomized controlled trial is to provide preliminary insight into the shorter- and longer-term efficacy of the use of a peer support app, TalkLife, in reducing NSSI frequency and urges and increasing readiness to change. In addition, we explore contact with informal support, interest in therapy, and attitudes toward professional help–seeking. Methods Individuals aged 16-25 years with current (within 3 months) and chronic (>6 episodes in the past year) NSSI history were eligible to participate in this study. After baseline assessments, the intervention group was instructed to use the app actively (eg, post or comment at least three times per week) and the control group received weekly psychoeducational materials through email, for 8 weeks. Follow-up was assessed at 1 month and 2 months. Linear mixed modeling was used to evaluate condition and time point effects for the primary outcomes of NSSI frequency and urges, readiness to change, contact with informal support, interest in therapy, and attitudes toward professional help–seeking. Results A total of 131 participants were included in the analysis. We evidenced a significant effect of condition on NSSI frequency such that the participants using the peer support app self-injured less over the course of the study (mean 1.30, SE 0.18) than those in the control condition (mean 1.62, SE 0.18; P=.02; η2=0.02). We also evidenced a significant condition effect of readiness to change such that the treatment participants reported greater confidence in their ability to change their NSSI behavior (mean 6.28, SE 0.41) than the control participants (mean 5.67, SE 0.41; P=.04; η2=0.02). No significant differences were observed for contact with informal support, interest in therapy, or attitudes toward professional help–seeking. Conclusions Use of the peer support app was related to reduced NSSI frequency and greater confidence in one’s ability to change NSSI behavior over the course of the study period, but no effects on NSSI urges, contact with informal support, interest in therapy, or attitudes toward professional help–seeking were observed. The findings provide preliminary support for considering the use of mobile peer support apps as a supplement to NSSI intervention and point to the need for larger-scale trials. Trial Registration Open Science Foundation;

2022 ◽  
Yuko Usui ◽  
Kazuhiro Kosugi ◽  
Yohei Nishiguchi ◽  
Tomofumi Miura ◽  
Daisuke Fujisawa ◽  

Abstract Purpose Many cancer patients with minor children experience difficulty when talking about their illness with their children. The aim of this study is to investigate the parenting experiences of cancer patients with minor children and their conversations about the possibility of death. Methods A cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted between April and May 2019. Cancer patients with minor children were recruited from among an online peer support group called “Cancer Parents”. The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their experiences talking about their illness with their children. The participants were classified into those who disclosed their cancer to their children (“disclosed group”), and those who didn’t disclose (“undisclosed group”). The association between whether they talked with their children about their cancer and their conversations about the possibility of death were examined. Results A total of 370 participants were analyzed (80.8% female, median age 43.0 years). The disclosed group (n = 274, 74.1%) wanted to know what their child felt than the undisclosed group (p < 0.001). The undisclosed group didn’t want their children to see their suffering (p = 0.002) and didn’t know how to explain their disease condition ( p < 0.002). Both the disclosed (42.1%) and undisclosed (6.5%) groups told their children about the possibility of death. Conclusion This study showed the disclosed group wanted to know their children’s feelings and they tended to have a conversation about the possibility of death with their children, compared to the undisclosed group.

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