“The main objective of peer support interventions is to provide support based on the sharing of information and experience, mutual counselling and exchange… peer support groups may also include an educational component related to the support function, for example, sessions on managing medications or stress…”

 

PEER SUPPORT networks or interventions generally provide…

Emotional support involves expressions of caring, empathy, encouragement and reassurance, and is generally seen to enhance self‐esteem 

Appraisal support includes encouraging persistence and optimism for resolving problems, affirmation of a peer's feelings and behaviours, and reassurance that frustrations can be dealt with

Informational support involves providing advice, suggestions, alternative actions, feedback and factual information relevant to the issue that the peer is dealing with

All three types of support are based on experiential knowledge, rather than arising from formalized sources...the provision of emotional, appraisal and informational assistance by a created social network member who possesses experiential knowledge of a specific behaviour or stressor and similar characteristics as the target population

 

Peer support strategies for improving the health and well‐being of individuals with chronic diseases. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, June 2017(6) - full article

Also see: Online peer support interventions for chronic conditions: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open. 2017; 7(9) – full journal article