Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

How to Achieve Better Effect of Peer Support Among Adults w/Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of RCTs

Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Feb;99(2):186-97. [Pubmed Abstract]

How to achieve better effect of peer support among adults with type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.
Zhang X, Yang S, Sun K, Fisher EB, Sun X

To study the effects of peer support on glycemic control and examine effects of different providers and types of support, intervention duration and effect duration.

A meta-analysis of randomized control trials (RCTs) of peer support intervention for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) from beginning to November 3rd, 2014.

Twenty RCTs (n = 4494) were included. In general, peer support intervention (I2 = 49.5%) had significantly positive effect on glycemic control of T2DM with pooled effect on HbA1c of −0.16%, 95% CI −0.25 to −0.007% (−1.7 mmol/mol, P < 0.001). Peer-partner-intervention and Community-health-worker-intervention had much better results of glycemic control. Home-visit-intervention and Curriculum-combined-reinforcement-intervention had better effect than other intervention types. The efficacy of interventions with duration >3 and ≤6 months was the best. However, effect weakens over time following intervention.

Peer support is an effective measure of improving glycemic control for patients with T2DM. Different providers and types may have different effects on peer support. Peer support duration with the best metabolic effectiveness is >3 and ≤6 months.

Practice implications
Peer support provided by patients themselves or by nonprofessionals has significantly better effect, and Curriculum-combined-reinforcement-intervention and Home-visit-intervention are suggested. The duration should be >3 and ≤6 months. Further studies on the implementation of peer support are needed.

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