Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World



Key Features of Peer Support in Chronic Disease Prevention and Management

Health Aff (Millwood). 2015 Sep 1;34(9):1523-30. [Pubmed Abstract]

Key Features Of Peer Support In Chronic Disease Prevention And Management
Fisher EB, Ballesteros J, Bhushan N, Coufal MM, Kowitt SD, McDonough AM, Parada H, Robinette JB, Sokol RL, Tang PY, Urlaub D

Peer support from community health workers, promotores de salud, and others through community and health care organizations can provide social support and other assistance that enhances health. There is substantial evidence for both the effectiveness and the cost-effectiveness of peer support, as well as for its feasibility, reach, and sustainability. We discuss findings from Peers for Progress, a program of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, to examine when peer support does not work, guide dissemination of peer support programs, and help integrate approaches such as e-health into peer support. Success factors for peer support programs include proactive implementation, attention to…


Individual Peer Support: A Qualitative Study of Mechanisms of Its Effectiveness

Community Ment Health J. 2014 Dec 23. [Pubmed Abstract]

Individual Peer Support: A Qualitative Study of Mechanisms of Its Effectiveness
Gidugu V, Rogers ES, Harrington S, Maru M, Johnson G, Cohee J, Hinkel J

Peer-delivered services for individuals with psychiatric conditions have proliferated over the past three decades. The values and principles underlying peer support have been explored, but we lack an understanding of its mechanisms of action. To shed light on the processes of peer support, we conducted a study with individuals who had received substantial individual peer support. We completed individual interviews, audiotaped, transcribed, and examined them using a thematic analysis approach. Our analyses suggest that individual peer support provided various practical, emotional, and social supports which were perceived as beneficial. Participants valued having someone to rely on, a friend, and someone to socialize with. We, however, found that individuals’…


A Change Model for Peer Worker Interventions in Mental Health

Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2014 Jul 3:1-11. [Pubmed Abstract]

Developing a change model for peer worker interventions in mental health services: a qualitative research study
Gillard S, Gibson SL, Holley J, Lucock M

A range of peer worker roles are being introduced into mental health services internationally. There is some evidence that attests to the benefits of peer workers for the people they support but formal trial evidence in inconclusive, in part because the change model underpinning peer support-based interventions is underdeveloped. Complex intervention evaluation guidance suggests that understandings of how an intervention is associated with change in outcomes should be modelled, theoretically and empirically, before the intervention can be robustly evaluated. This paper aims to model the change mechanisms underlying peer worker interventions.

In a qualitative, comparative case study of ten peer worker initiatives in statutory and voluntary sector…

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