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Evidence for peer support in rehabilitation for individuals with acquired brain injury: A systematic review. Main Image

Evidence for peer support in rehabilitation for individuals with acquired brain injury: A systematic review.

Mon 03 Jul 2017

Research finds evidence of the positive influence of peer support among brain injury survivors. 

Objective:

To systematically review the literature on evidence for the application of peer support in the rehabilitation of persons with acquired brain injury.


Data sources:

PubMed, Embase.com, Ebsco/Cinahl, Ebsco/PsycInfo and Wiley/Cochrane Library were searched from inception up to 19 June 2015.


Study selection:

Randomized controlled trials were included describing participants with acquired brain injury in a rehabilitation setting and peer supporters who were specifically assigned to this role. 

Data extraction:

Two independent reviewers assessed metho-dological quality using the PEDro scale. Cohen’s kappa was calculated to assess agreement between the reviewers.


Data synthesis:

Two randomized controlled trials could be included, both focussing on patients with traumatic brain injury. The randomized controlled trials included a total of 126 participants with traumatic brain injury and 62 care-givers and suggest a positive influence of peer support for traumatic brain injury survivors and their caregivers in areas of social support, coping, behavioural control and physical quality of life.


Conclusion:

The evidence for peer support is limited and restricted to traumatic brain injury. Randomized controlled trials on peer support for patients with other causes of acquired brain injury are lacking. It is important to gain more insight into the effects of peer support and the influence of patient and peer characteristics and the intervention protocol.

Reference: Womba, R., Nijland, R.H.M., Ket, J.C.F., & Kwakkel, G. (2016). Evidence for peer support in rehabilitation for individuals with acquired brain injury: A systematic review. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 48 (10), 847-840

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