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Publication Detail
Peer support for people living with rare or young onset dementia: An integrative review
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Sullivan MP, Williams V, Grillo A, McKee-Jackson R, Camic PM, Windle G, Stott J, Brotherhood E, Crutch SJ, Rare Dementia Support (RDS) research team
  • Publisher:
    SAGE Publications
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  • Keywords:
    integrative review, peer support, rare dementia, relationality, young onset dementia
  • Notes:
    © The Author(s) 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this integrative review was to identify and synthesize the literature on peer support interventions for people living with or caring for someone with a rare or young onset dementia. DESIGN: A literature search of articles was performed using the Nipissing University Primo search system, a central index that enables simultaneous searches across databases which included MEDLINE (PubMed), Web of Science, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Sociological Abstracts, Cochrane Library. RESULTS: The eleven papers that met the inclusion criteria spanned eighteen years and from five countries. Studies reported on peer support programs that were either hospital-based (n = 6) or community-based (n = 4), and were predominantly led by disciplines in the health sciences. Only one study did not involve delivering services. There was a range of methodological quality within the studies included in the review. Further analysis and synthesis led to the identification of three overarching peer support themes. These included: (1) peers as necessarily part of social support interventions; (2) a theoretical portmanteau; and (3) dementia spaces and relationality. CONCLUSION: Consistent with a much larger body of work examining peer involvement in social interventions, this review reinforced the valuable contribution of peers. A full understanding of the mechanisms of change was not achieved. Notwithstanding, the issue of studies neglecting to sufficiently conceptualize and describe interventions is an important one - drawing attention to the need to continue to explore varied delivery, including co-produced models, and more effective evaluation strategies to inform the dementia care sector.
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