Date Presented 04/20/2023
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of MyTeam, a peer support group established by an OT. Results indicated that MyTeam is effective in its mission to provide peer support for its members with chronic illness.
Primary Author and Speaker: Rivka Molinsky
Additional Authors and Speakers: Tzipora Rosen
PURPOSE: To explore the need and impact of MyTeam, a peer support group established by an occupational therapist. Since chronic illnesses negatively affect one’s physical and social functioning, and most significantly impacts individual psychological well-being (Yueh-Juen Hwu, 2020, p. 180).
DESIGN: Quantitative design, retrospective pre/post survey PARTICIPANTS: Of the 263 members the survey was sent to, 119 females between ages 13-32, with one or more invisible chronic illness such as Crohn’s/colitis, juvenile arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis answered the survey. All participants received the My Team intervention for a duration of 1-5 years.
METHOD: A pre-post survey of 53 questions were distributed to the members of MyTeam. Data was collected and then analyzed using SPSS 28.
RESULTS: Frequency distributions indicated that now, only 33% of respondents ignore their symptoms in public compared to before joining MyTeam when 75% did. There is a statistically significant difference (p < .001) in those who took their medications in public before joining MyTeam to a year after joining MyTeam. Using Wilcoxon test, correlation = .741 at a significance level of p<.001 when controlled for years of membership in MyTeam. These results indicated that being a part of the MyTeam organization was the driving factor that positively impacted the quality of life of MyTeam members, not the passage of time since diagnosis.
CONCLUSION: MyTeam is effective in its mission by providing peer support to its members with invisible chronic illnesses. Being a part of the MyTeam organization was the driving factor that positively impacted the quality of life of MyTeam members, not the passage of time while having the diagnosis.
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