In their New York Times piece, Aaron E. Carroll and Austin Frakt write about the increasingly important role of peer support in modern health care.
April 29, 2013
With support from the government, as well as diabetes experts and patient communities, patient support groups in Taiwan have grown in number significantly. To date, there are more than 450 patient support groups across the island, serving over 1.5 million people with diabetes. These support groups provide opportunities for people with diabetes to connect and learn from each other and one of their main functions is to provide social and emotional support. However, the group support model alone provides a limited range of interactions and inadequately promotes ongoing interaction among participants.
In early 2013, the Taiwanese Association of Diabetes Educators (TADE), headed by Dr. Neng Chun Yu, kicked off an initiative to work with their domestic partners and Peers for Progress (PfP) to promote and enhance peer support. The initiative has outlined three key strategies:
Clearly define roles of a clinical team and peer supporter (patient experts)
In October 2010, over 60 representatives of peer support programs and organizations – from 14 Peers for Progress Evaluation Grantees and over 40 groups involved in peer support from around the world – met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to identify and discuss critical aspects of peer support interventions, their effects, dissemination, sustainability, and implications for next steps.
The purpose of this Meeting Report is to highlight cross-cutting points and key themes that are emerging from this learning community, and to frame them as considerations for strengthening peer support as a key part of health, health care, and prevention around the world. Additional details for each point can be found in the main report.
Click here to read the full report