Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

Special Populations

10.6.20

CHWs and Covid-19 — Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Times of Crisis and Beyond

N Engl J Med. 2020 Sep 23. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2022641. [Full Commentary]

Peretz PJ, Islam N, Matiz LA

New York City was the one of the first COVID-19 hot spots in the United States and necessitated a public health response that included community health workers. This piece in the New English Journal of Medicine shares experiences from New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, which are among the healthcare organizations that utilized CHWs into their COVID-19 response. In collaboration with community-based organizations, CHW teams proactively contacted socially isolated patients, connecting them with sources of critically important care and support. This experience has shown that, during times of crisis, CHWs may be the lone connection between some patients and an ever-changing — and increasingly digital — health care system.

10.6.20

The Fundamental Value of Presence in Peer and Mutual Support: Observations from Telephone Support for High Risk Groups

Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice. 2020;11(3),1-20. [Full Article]

Fisher EB, Tang PT, Evans M, Bhushan N, Graham MA, Dreyer Valovcin D, Castellano C

Abstract
“Being there” takes on considerable importance amidst recognition of the substantial deleterious effects of social isolation and loneliness. In particular, presence/ “being there” may be important features of the many contributions of peer and mutual support to health and wellbeing. This study examined how peer support may enhance a sense of presence based on a) contact data for years 2015-2016 from telephonic peer support services of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, and b) structured interviews with peer supporters and clients of these programs. Features of peer support that convey presence include a) 24/7 availability, b) structure of peer support around shared cultural roles – e.g., “Cop2Cop,” “Mom2Mom,” rather than shared diagnoses, c) training of supporters to provide a…

10.6.20

Mobile-Enhanced Peer Support for African Americans with T2D

J Gen Intern Med. 2020 Jul 22. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06011-w. [Pubmed Abstract]

Caroline Presley, April Agne, Tanya Shelton, Robert Oster, Andrea Cherrington

Background
Peer support has been shown to improve diabetes self-management and control, but no standard exists to link peer support interventions to clinical care.

Objective
To compare a community-based diabetes self-management education (DSME) plus mobile health (mHealth)-enhanced peer support intervention to community-based diabetes self-management education (DSME) alone for African American adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.

Design
A randomized controlled trial.

Participants
African American adults, age > 19 years, receiving care within a safety-net healthcare system in Jefferson County, Alabama, with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and a hemoglobin A1c (A1C) ≥ 7.5%.

Interventions
Participants in the intervention group received community-based diabetes self-management education (DSME)…

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