"Peer Support Works and People Like It"

  Peers for Progress Newsletter
                     September 24, 2014
This summer, Peers for Progress developed resources to help promote peer support as a sustained part of our health care system. Communicating the effectiveness of peer support is an important first step, but often isn’t enough to convince those outside of the field that this is something our system needs. On the other hand, it’s easy to get behind peer support when we help others to realize how it humanizes health care and provides the human touch that is so often missing.

In the end, we discovered that conveying the message of peer support can be summed up in one simple phrase, “It works and people like it.”

Global Evidence for Peer Support: Humanizing Health Care

Earlier this month, we released a new report, Global Evidence for Peer Support: Humanizing Health Care, based on an international conference that brought together leaders in health care and public health.

Over the past six years, we supported projects ranging from randomized-controlled trials to qualitative studies. All demonstrated strong evidence that peer support is not only successful at reaching and engaging communities, but that it is feasible, effective and sustainable.

The evidence from these projects shows that peer support is a practical, affordable and popular model for health promotion and chronic disease self-management. Effective and humanizing, peer support can meet present and future health care needs by facilitating the delivery of the right care at the right time at the right cost. [Read more]

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Program Resources    

What Is Peer Support?

We invited experts from around the world to tell us why peer support is important to the present and future of chronic disease self-management, prevention, and health. As a companion to our new report, this short video is a great introduction to peer support for diabetes that can help in your educational and advocacy efforts. [Watch now]

Peer Support Helps with Diabetes Control

From the ADA’s Diabetes Forecast magazine, this article illustrates how peer support can transform the lives of those living with diabetes. Anyone can benefit from the range of peer support programs that are out there. [Read more]

Considerations for Designing Peer Support Programs for Older Adults with Diabetes

Adults over the age of 65 face a unique set of challenges around diabetes self-management. This research brief begins with a demographic summary of older adults with diabetes, presents an overview of facilitators and barriers that these individuals may encounter, and concludes with six suggested areas that should be considered when designing peer support interventions targeting older adults with diabetes and other chronic diseases. [Read more]

Research Briefs 

Integrating CHWs into a Patient-Centered Medical Home to Support Diabetes Self-Management among Vietnamese Americans: Lessons Learned

A community-based nonprofit, a patient-centered medical home (PCMH), and academic partners collaborated to develop and implement a program (PREP) to educate and support Vietnamese American patients with uncontrolled diabetes and/or hypertension. This article describes the successes and challenges associated with PREP delivery including patient recruitment, structuring/documenting visits, and establishing effective care team integration, work flow, and communication. Strategies for mitigating these issues are presented, as well as recommendations for other PCMHs seeking to integrate CHWs into care teams. [Abstract]

Cost-Effectiveness of CHWs in Controlling Diabetes Epidemic on the U.S.-Mexico Border

This study attempted to evaluate clinical outcomes and long-term cost-effectiveness of an intervention involving CHWs in assisting Mexican-American diabetes type-2 patients with controlling their condition. Incremental lifetime health outcomes and related expenditures were calculated using the CDC Diabetes Cost-Effectiveness Model (DCEM). The intervention group showed a significant improvement in glycemic control and cholesterol management after two years of intervention. The intervention is expected to reduce long-term complications, resulting in an increase in residual life-years and quality-adjusted life-years. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio has been estimated to be $13,810, which is below the level of comparable studies. [Abstract]

Impact of a CHW-Led Structured Program on Blood Glucose Control Among Latinos with Type 2 Diabetes: The DIALBEST Trial

A total of 211 adult Latinos with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to a standard of healthcare (n = 106) or CHW (n = 105) group. The CHW intervention comprised 17 individual sessions delivered at home by CHWs over a 12-month period. CHWs had an overall significant effect on fasting glucose concentration that was more pronounced at the 12- and 18-month visits. There was no significant effect on blood lipid levels, hypertension, and weight. [Abstract]

'Trust and Teamwork matter': CHWs' Experiences in Integrated Service Delivery in India

A comprehensive and integrated approach to strengthen primary health care has been the major thrust of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) that was launched in 2005 to revamp India's rural public health system. This article discusses CHWs’ experiences in integrated service delivery through village-level outreach sessions within the NRHM. It shows that for health workers, the notion of integration goes well beyond a technical lens of mixing different health services. The comprehensive NRHM primary health care ideology which the health workers espouse is in constant tension with the exigencies of narrow indicators of health system performance.

This ethnography shows how monitoring mechanisms, the institutionalized privileging of statistical evidence over field-based knowledge and the highly hierarchical health bureaucratic structure that rests on top-down communications mitigate efforts towards sustainable health system integration. [Abstract]

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Funding Opportunities 

Behavioral Interventions to Address Multiple Chronic Health Conditions in Primary Care (R01)

Deadline: October 5, 2014
Funds: Not limited / Max 5 years

This FOA will support research in primary care that uses a multi-disease care management approach to behavioral interventions with high potential impact to improve patient-level health outcomes for individuals with three or more chronic health conditions. The proposed approach must modify behaviors using a common approach rather than administering a distinct intervention for each targeted behavior and/or condition. [Read more]

Family-Centered Self-Management of Chronic Conditions (R21)

Deadline: October 16, 2014
Funds: $275,000 total / 2 years

The purpose of this FOA is to encourage research that seeks to build the science of family-centered self-management (FCSM) in chronic conditions. FCSM recognizes and addresses family needs and preferences, and integrates family members as partners in care while promoting individual self-management. [Read more]

Self-Management for Health in Chronic Conditions (R01)

Deadline: February 5, 2015
Funds: Not limited / Max 5 years

This FOA describes an initiative that focuses on self-management as a mainstream science in order to reduce the burden of chronic illnesses/conditions. Self-management is the ability of the individual, in conjunction with family, community, and healthcare professionals, to manage symptoms, treatments, lifestyle changes, and psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual consequences associated with a chronic illness or condition. [Read more]

Advancing Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence (R21)

Deadline: February 16, 2015
Funds: $275,000 total / 2 years

This FOA encourages applications for research and development of interventions to significantly improve medication adherence in individuals. Applications may target medication adherence in the context of treatment for a single illness or chronic condition (e.g., hypertension), to stave off a disease recurrence (e.g., cancer) or for multiple comorbid conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, alcohol use disorders and HIV/AIDS). [Read more]


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Program Resources

Research Briefs

Funding Opportunities

Meetings and Events

  Please forward this e-newsletter to an interested colleague 

Global Evidence for Peer Support: Humanizing Health Care

What Is Peer Support?


AAFP National Assembly (October 21-25 in Washington, D.C.)

2014 PCPCC Annual Fall Conference (November 12-14 in Washington, D.C.)

APHA 142nd Annual Meeting (November 15-19 in New Orleans, LA)


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