A study looking at peer support among adults with Type 2 diabetes – how to run them effectively, and how to ensure peer support facilitators receive the training and support they need – has found several key themes to ensure their success.
Dr Holman and colleagues from The University of Sheffield conducted the qualitative study as part of a more extensive study – the Randomised controlled trial of Peer Support In Type 2 Diabetes (RAPSID), held in East England. Adults with Type 2 diabetes attended a two-day training programme to become peer support facilitators. The facilitators then ran their own peer support groups, aiming to meet every month for six months. Altogether, 106 people trained to be facilitators, 652 participants engaged in support, and there were 65 peer support groups. Study nurses met with the facilitators monthly and provided support as needed.
The researchers analysed the data and found seven key themes including issues around setting up and running groups; characteristics of both facilitators and peers; group dynamics, topics covered; and sustaining and ending the peer support.
The authors found that groups that worked well were organised and encouraged people to share experiences and had a supportive and friendly atmosphere. They suggest that outlining what peer support is (and is not) needs to be emphasised in training programmes, and (assuming that groups will not continue indefinitely) there should be a plan for how to end groups appropriately.
The findings may be helpful for people interested in facilitating Type 2 diabetes peer support groups in the future. Read more here.