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"This family and the Games are my world": Conceptualizing the British and European Transplant Games as therapeutic landscapes.

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Peer-reviewed

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Article

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Abstract

The first Transplant Games took place in 1978 in Portsmouth, England. Since then, numerous Olympic-style sporting 'Games' have been established, each aiming to increase public awareness of organ donation, demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, and encourage patient fitness. Despite this, there is limited research exploring the psycho-social and health impacts of the Games. Drawing on qualitative research conducted at the 2022 British Transplant Games and the 2022 European Transplant and Dialysis Games, this paper explores the Games through a therapeutic landscapes framework, a concept that examines the ways in which environments contribute to health and wellbeing. Building upon work that acknowledges the relational and contingent nature of health-in-place, I argue that the Games are a therapeutic landscape of social relations for transplant recipients in three ways: providing a landscape of belonging, a landscape of hope, and a landscape of motivation. Through this therapeutic landscapes perspective, the Transplant Games are presented as a peer-to-peer clinic - a care space where individuals are more actively involved in their health on a reciprocal level than in the traditional hospital clinic. In turn, this paper emphasises the crucial role of affective peer support in producing health-promoting environments. This research seeks to make a practical contribution to the wider transplant community by promoting the Games as an environment which may positively contribute to both physical and mental wellbeing.

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Keywords

Belonging, Hope, Motivation, Organ transplantation, Peer-to-peer clinic, Therapeutic landscapes, Transplant games, Humans, Organ Transplantation, England, Peer Group, Tissue and Organ Procurement, Sports

Journal Title

Soc Sci Med

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0277-9536
1873-5347

Volume Title

Publisher

Elsevier BV