Using an integrated knowledge translation approach to inform a pilot feasibility randomized controlled trial on peer support for individuals with traumatic brain injury: A qualitative descriptive study

Stephanie K. C. Lau, Dorothy Luong, Shane N. Sweet, Mark Bayley, Ben B. Levy, Monika Kastner, Michelle L. A. Nelson, Nancy M. Salbach, Susan B. Jaglal, John Shepherd, Ruth Wilcock, Carla Thoms (+2 others)
2021 PLoS ONE  
Introduction Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is estimated to affect 10 million people annually, making it a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. One cost-effective intervention that has been shown to minimize some of the negative sequelae after TBI is peer support. However, the evidence supporting the benefits of peer support for individuals with TBI is sparse and of low quality. Integrated knowledge translation (iKT) may be one approach to optimizing the evaluation of peer support
more » ... rograms among individuals with TBI. Therefore, the objectives are: (1) To understand key informants' perspectives of the barriers and facilitators of participating in peer support research and programs among individuals with TBI; (2) to understand key informants' perspectives on the perceived impacts of peer support programs on individuals with TBI; and, (3) to demonstrate how an iKT approach can inform the development and implementation of a pilot feasibility randomized controlled trial (RCT). Methods A qualitative descriptive approach using one-on-one semi-structured interviews was used. Purposive sampling of 22 key informants included 8 peer support mentors, 4 individuals with TBI who received peer support, 3 caregivers of individuals with TBI, 4 peer support program staff, and 3 academics in peer support and/or TBI. Results There were five main themes related to the barriers and facilitators to participating in peer support research and programs: knowledge, awareness, and communication; logistics of participating; readiness and motivation to participate; need for clear expectations; and matching. There were three main themes related to the perceived impact of peer support: acceptance, community, social experiences; vicarious experience/learning through others: shared experiences, role-modelling, encouragement; and "I feel better." Discussions with our Research Partner led to several significant adaptations to our trial protocol, including removing the twice/week intervention arm, shortening of the length of trial, and changing the measure for the community integration outcome. Discussion/Conclusion This is the first study to use an iKT approach to inform a trial protocol and the first to assess the barriers and facilitators to participating in peer support research.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0256650 pmid:34428259 pmcid:PMC8384186 fatcat:opb6vwvrxjdwtg6m6livd4wm7m