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Qual Health Res. 2000 Mar;10(2):260-76.

The peer advisor experience providing social support.

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  • 1Boston College School of Nursing, USA.


Research shows a link between increased social support and decreased complications after myocardial infarction (MI). In a current randomized controlled trial (RCT), a social support intervention administered by nurse and peer advisors is being examined to determine its influence on the health outcomes of unpartnered, post-MI elders. This qualitative study (as part of the larger RCT) sought a better understanding regarding the experience of the peer advisor. Data sources included peer advisor logs, a focus group, and telephone interviews with peer advisors. Findings revealed that helping, mutual sharing, committing, and benefiting are characteristics of peer experiences. Primarily because of their personal experience of recovery from MI, peer advisors had a remarkable ability to relate to assigned post-MI elders, offering a unique form of social support complementary to current health practices.

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