Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World



Youth Online Support Preferences

Megan Evans, MSPH

Young people have unique preferences and needs when it comes to getting social support for a health condition. Here’s a snapshot of what we know about those preferences. If you have any lessons learned from your own experience, please share them in the comments below!

Youth desire sites independent from their social media for getting support for illness: Youth access the Internet strategically and differentiate what sites they use to socialize and have fun from those they seek out for support and information about illness. While youth report using social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay connected with family and friends, these sites are likely not the best place to reach them to provide information and support regarding illness, whether mental or physical (Ahola Kohut et al., 2018; Wetterlin, Mar, Neilson, Werker, & Krausz, 2014). Adolescents report preferring to keep their illness private and tend to present themselves as…


Peers for Progress Symposia at the Society of Behavioral Medicine

Patrick Tang, MPH

Every year, Peers for Progress looks to the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine as an opportunity to learn from experts, share research findings from our network, and get inspired to take action. The conference caters to a wide range of interests, and yet attendees could spend the entire conference focusing on a narrow topic area. For example, I was particularly excited to see the number of presentations on technology-enhanced peer support and health coaching.

On our part, Peers for Progress investigators organized two symposia on peer support. The first symposium, Inside the Black Box: Deconstructing Social and Peer Support, took a deep dive into the mechanisms of effective interventions and offered practical recommendations to improve peer support programs. The second symposium, Peer Support: Channels of Dissemination, featured three model programs that have the potential to expand and sustain peer support for whole populations.

You can…


Robina Project Introduces Care Guides to Help Patients with Chronic Diseases

Clayton Velicer, MPH

Peers for Progress, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) cohosted a conference in April about the role of peer support in patient-centered medical homes and primary care. During the conference, we challenged each other to think about how peer supporters and community health workers can make the system more efficient, manageable, and affordable.

In this blog, we look at a specific example of incorporating lay health workers into the primary care health care team as “care guides”. The Health Affairs Blog highlighted the Robina project, which hired 12 lay health care workers (care guides) to work as part of a health care team serving patients with chronic diseases. These care guides did not have any medical training, but received a two week training on a number of topics including electronic health records, specific information about disease (hypertension, diabetes, and heart failure), tobacco…

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