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Implementing a telephone based peer support intervention for women with a BRCA1/2 mutation

journal contribution
posted on 2015-09-01, 00:00 authored by A Farrelly, Vicki WhiteVicki White, M-A Young, M Jefford, S Ieropoli, J Duffy, I Winship, B Meiser
Women with a BRCA1/2 gene mutation face complex risk management decisions and communication issues that can lead to increased levels of distress and unmet needs. We describe the implementation of a peer-support program that aims to reduce distress among women with a BRCA1/2 mutation, including peer and support recipient satisfaction with the program, challenges and lessons learnt. Participants with a BRCA1/2 mutation were matched with a trained peer volunteer (also a mutation carrier) to have regular one-on-one phone calls, over 4 months. Details of the calls, including topics discussed, time spent and number, were collected. Peers and recipients completed surveys assessing how they felt the contact went, satisfaction with the program, and preferences for matching. Satisfaction with the program was high for both peers and recipients. 80% of pairs ended contact through mutual agreement. Peers and recipients differed in the importance placed on age and surgery experience to determine matches. The most challenging aspect of the program for peers was difficulty in contacting recipients. Peer support for women with a BRCA1/2 mutation is feasible. However, to encourage continued involvement by peers and recipients greater flexibility in the method and delivery of contact is needed. We advocate the use of text-messaging and/or email as mechanisms for pairs to arrange and maintain contact. These strategies should be in addition to, rather than replacing, calls. A mixed medium intervention, where recipients can tailor the method of communication to suit their needs, may be preferable and effective, though this would need to be tested.

History

Journal

Familial Cancer

Volume

14

Pagination

373-382

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

1389-9600

eISSN

1573-7292

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal, C Journal article

Copyright notice

2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Issue

3

Publisher

Springer