"We're all thrown in the same boat ... ": A qualitative analysis of peer support in dementia care

Sarah Keyes, Charlotte Clarke, Heather Wilkinson, Jo Alexjuk, Jane Wilcockson, Louise Robinson, Joanna Reynolds, Siobhan McClelland, Lynne Corner, Mima Cattan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)
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Peer support is well established in fields such as the disability movement and mental health and is increasingly recognised as one way of enabling support by and for people with a diagnosis of dementia and their immediate carers. It was central to the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy (NDS) for England, when 40 demonstration sites were established. This mixed-methods study included in-depth qualitative interviews with people living with dementia (n = 101) and staff/stakeholders (n = 82) at 8 of the 40 sites. Data analysis was a five-stage process: coding framework developed (using 25 transcripts); further development of the framework (using a further 70 transcripts); development of emerging themes; modelling of themes and verification of models based on the entire data set. Peer support had positive emotional and social impact that was rooted in identification with others, a commonality of experience and reciprocity of support. There was also a contrast between the quality of peer support and support from professionals. This emphasises the significance of lived experience and promoting a strength-based approach to interpersonal support that is enabling and challenges a deficit approach to understanding dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-577
Issue number4
Early online date17 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


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