Growth in a 'new world': Case studies of peer leader experiences in the steps program for people with acquired brain injury
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Background: The Skills To Enable People and Communities (STEPS) Program is a new information, support and skills program that aims to develop sustainable networks of support for individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) and their families in communities throughout Queensland, Australia. The program adopts a self-management approach and is delivered by trained peer and professional leaders. Aim: To explore the experiences of both peer and lay leaders in the delivery of the STEPS Skills Program and coordination of STEPS Network Groups. Method: A multiple qualitative case study design was utilised to explore the unique experiences of three trained STEPS Program Leaders. Data collection entailed in-depth semistructured interviews with participants and further incorporated routine STEPS Program Leader descriptive data. The data analysis involved a four-stage approach that included assembling the raw case data, constructing case records, producing case narratives and cross-case pattern analysis. Results: Case study narratives were produced to describe participant experiences with the STEPS Program. The cross-case pattern analysis revealed two dimensions of comparison. The first dimension describes the process by which participants became STEPS Program Leaders, while the second dimension reflects the growth outcomes experienced by participants through their involvement with the STEPS Program. Specific growth outcomes are described in relation to the following domains: 'expansion of social roles and skills', 'appreciation of life', 'interpersonal relationships and communication', 'confidence, personal strength and accomplishment' and 'growth in self as a person'. The results are also described with respect to a model that depicts the process of growth through STEPS Program delivery. Conclusion: Posttraumatic growth of peer leaders after brain injury can be facilitated within a therapeutic intervention such as the STEPS Program.
Copyright 2011 Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Social and Community Psychology