Seven models of peer support

While our face-to-face support groups have been affected during these times of social distancing, not all peer support is based solely on face-to-face meetings. In fact, there are seven models of peer support that are recognised by an international leader in this field, Peers for Progress.

They are:

  1. Professional-led group visits with peer exchange

    In this model, clients who share the same condition come together with a health care provider or team of providers to address their self-management challenges.

  2. Peer-led face-to-face self-management programs

    In this approach, a person who shares the same condition as the participants leads an interactive format to enhance participants’ sharing and mutual encouragement regarding self-management.

  3. Peer coaches

    Also known as peer mentors, peer coaches are individuals who have coped with the same condition and meet one-on-one with patients to listen, discuss concerns and provide support.

  4. Community health workers

    Also known as promotoras, community health workers are community members who work to bridge the gap between their respective communities and health care providers. They do not necessarily have a chronic condition, but they often share language, culture and community with the patients. Oftentimes, the roles of Community Health Worker and Peer Coach merge.

  5. Support groups

    Support groups are gatherings of people who share common experiences, situations, problems or conditions. In these gatherings, people are able to mutually offer emotional and practical support.

  6. Telephone-based peer support

    This type of peer support is provided through regular phone calls. They are either the sole form of an intervention or used to complement other modes of intervention.

  7. Web- and email-based programs

    These programs use the Internet to mobilize peer support, including Internet-based support groups and e-mail reminders. In addition to increasing reach and convenience, they may overcome problems some patients have with face-to-face contact.

If you would like to read more, check out the Peers for Progress website.

Join our community of over 33,000 people living with diabetes