Peer Support Program Research

Limbs 4 Life is currently undertaking a project to investigate our Peer Support Program
Peer Support Research

What is the Amputee Peer Support Program?

The Amputee Peer Support Program is a national program and it provides a link between people who have recently had an amputation (or just about to have an amputation) and the peer support team. The peer support team are a group of volunteers who have had an amputation in the past and have been specially trained to support new amputees.

Why do this research?

While there has been a lot of positive feedback about the Amputee Peer Support Program over the years, Limbs 4 Life would like to understand the impact that program participation has on the people who have recently had an amputation (or just about to have an amputation). The project will consider the views of people who participate in the program, people who volunteer for the program, as well as health professionals who refer their patients into the program. As such, the aim of this research is to determine the value of the Amputee Peer Support Program on program participants from the perspective of peer support program participants, peer support volunteers and referring health professionals.

What does participating in the research involve?

From February 2019 until August 2019 new program participants, as well as the current peer support volunteers and referring health professionals, will be invited to complete a 15-20 minute survey. For the new program participants there are two surveys, one prior to participating in the program and one six weeks after participating in the program. For the Victorian and South Australian new program participants and current peer support volunteers, there will also be the option of participating in a 60 minute focus group for a deeper discussion on their experiences and views. The focus groups will be held in early 2019 in a hospital in South Australia or at the Limbs 4 Life offices in Mt Waverley, Victoria.

While there are no immediate benefits for those who participate in the research, there are potential benefits for future program participants as the Amputee Peer Support Program will grow and develop based on the feedback provided. The research will also help Limbs 4 Life understand how and why the program helps people who have recently had an amputation (or just about to have an amputation). This research evidence is also really important in ensuring future financial and in-kind support for the program.

Who is doing the research?

The research team includes Dr Narelle Warren from Monash University, Dr Tash Brusco from Alpha Crucis Group and Monash University, and Ms Sarah Foster from Alpha Crucis Group. The Limbs 4 Life advisor to the project is Ms Melissa Noonan, CEO of Limbs 4 Life.

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What can you do to help?

We want to hear from you! If you are a new program participant, a current peer support volunteer or a referring health professional, please get involved when you receive the survey. Be assured that only combined results will be presented in the research reports and that there will be nothing that can identify you as an individual.