Posted Apr 19 , 2019 09:07 AM

Building Bridges Through Collaboration and Consensus: Expanding Awareness and Use of Peer Support and Peer Support Communities Among People with Diabetes, Caregivers, and Health Care Providers.

Warshaw H, and Edelman D. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology 2018:Online Nov 4th

Institute Summary (excerpted from the Abstract):

Diabetes, regardless of type, is a complex disease. Successful management to achieve both short- and long-term health goals and outcomes is highly dependent on learning, mastery, and regular implementation and execution of self-care behaviors. The importance of a positive mental outlook and minimization of psychosocial barriers to care is increasingly identified as important in managing the whole person with diabetes and, as appropriate, the caregivers. Ongoing support from HCP and increasingly ongoing support from peers are critical elements of quality diabetes care. With the availability of virtually accessible technologies for social media and networking, the volume of peer support among people with diabetes and their caregivers has increased exponentially and will likely continue to do so. With the value of ongoing peer support recognized as an important element in diabetes health, a growing number of peer support communities and increasing engagement in these communities among some diabetes educators, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) embarked on an initiative to more formally work with diabetes peer support communities and their leaders. To initiate this effort AADE held and supported a consensus meeting in 2017. This article reviews the history and goals of this effort and details the meeting outcomes. It also discusses the collaborations completed since the initial meeting along with plans for the near future. This collaboration is unique and presents a model for similar endeavors in diabetes or other chronic diseases.

Why is this important?

In 2017, after working informally and with individual Peer Support Communities (PSC) from 2011 to 2015, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) embarked on an initiative to formalize the association’s relationships with PSCs. Over the years diabetes educators have been engaged with promoting the value and use of ongoing support,1 including peer support. As the diabetes online communities (DOC) evolved and more people with diabetes and diabetes educators engaged in social media, the avenues for collaborations expanded and flourished. The 2017 meeting, titled Educators and Peer Support Communities: Working Together for the Good of People with Diabetes established the goals for AADE-PSC collaboration, and to date the progress has included; Launch Peer Support Resources section of AADE website, Revise, host, promote, and distribute an online and print handout Learn-Connect-Engage for health care provider and PSC use to promote peer support https://www. peer-support, obtain financial support for scoping review on value of online diabetes peer support, initiate development of AADE practice paper on value of peer support for 2019 publication, integrate content about peer support into AADE’s Core Concepts course, and additional AADE programming. These are valuable and long overdue activities to highlight the value of peer support for people with diabetes and integrate the concepts into modern diabetes education! Do you participate in Diabetes Online Communities? Do you recommend them to your patients?

Read the Abstract: