The motivation to volunteer as a peer support provider to newly diagnosed patients with acute leukemia – A qualitative interview study

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  • Cæcilie Borregaard Myrhøj
  • Kristina Holmegaard Nørskov
  • Jarden, Mary Ellen
  • Susan Rydahl-Hansen

Purpose: To identify and describe the motivation to volunteer as a peer support provider (PSP) to newly diagnosed patients with acute leukemia (AL). Method: A phenomenological individual interview study based on one open-ended question. The participants (n = 12) had previously been treated for AL and were recruited from an ongoing peer support feasibility study. The interviews were carried out prior to participation as a peer support provider. A phenomenological methodology developed by Amadeo Giorgi was used for the analysis of the data. Results: The essence of the phenomenon can be characterized by the following characteristics: “A wish to move on with life”, “A wish to instill hope to those in a hopeless situation” and “Expecting own course of disease to become meaningful”. The motivation reflected the experience that when helping others they also helped themselves. Conclusion: Former patients treated for AL are motivated to undertake their new role as PSP because their own course of disease becomes meaningful, helps facilitate a better post-cancer recovery through greater self-confidence while instilling hope to newly diagnosed patients with AL. Clinical implications: It is important to identify readiness before recruiting former patients for the PSP role and to develop peer-to-peer programs to sustain motivation. Future studies should examine how motivation changes over time while practicing as a PSP to newly diagnosed patient with AL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101750
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Acute leukemia, Motivation, Peer support, Phenomenology, Social support, Volunteering

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