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Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 97–108 | Cite as

Peer support opportunities across the cancer care continuum: a systematic scoping review of recent peer-reviewed literature

  • Sarah D. Kowitt
  • Katrina R. Ellis
  • Veronica Carlisle
  • Nivedita L. Bhushan
  • Kristin Z. Black
  • Kaitlyn Brodar
  • Nicole M. Cranley
  • Kia L. Davis
  • Eugenia Eng
  • Michelle Y. Martin
  • Jared McGuirt
  • Rebeccah L. Sokol
  • Patrick Y. Tang
  • Anissa I. Vines
  • Jennifer S. Walker
  • Edwin B. Fisher
Review Article

Abstract

Objective

Evidence suggests peer support (PS) is as an effective strategy for enhancing prevention and control of chronic and infectious diseases, including cancer. This systematic scoping review examines the range and variety of interventions on the use of PS across the cancer care continuum.

Method

We used a broad definition of PS to capture a wide-range of interventions and characterize the current status of the field. Literature searches were conducted using PubMed, SCOPUS, and CINAHL to identify relevant articles published from January 2011 to June 2016. We screened the title and abstracts of 2087 articles, followed by full-text screening of 420 articles, resulting in a final sample of 242 articles of which the most recent 100 articles were reviewed (published June 2014 to May 2016).

Results

A number of the recent intervention studies focused on breast cancer (32%, breast cancer only) or multiple cancer sites (23%). Although the interventions spanned all phases of the cancer care continuum, only 2% targeted end-of-life care. Seventy-six percent focused on clinical outcomes (e.g., screening, treatment adherence) and 72% on reducing health disparities. Interventions were primarily phone-based (44%) or delivered in a clinic setting (44%). Only a few studies (22%) described the impact of providing PS on peer supporters.

Conclusion

PS appears to be a widely used approach to address needs across the cancer care continuum, with many opportunities to expand its reach.

Keywords

Cancer Community health workers Navigator Oncology Peer support Social support 

Notes

Funding

Preparation of this manuscript was supported by Peers for Progress, Chapel Hill, NC; the Cancer Health Disparities Training Program (2T32CA128582-06) and UNC Center for Health Equity Research (for author KRE); the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Geographical Management of Cancer Health Disparities Programs, Region 1-South, (3P30CA138313-07S2); and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (P30 CA016086) through an NCI Administrative Supplement to Strengthen NCI-Supported Community Outreach Capacity through Community Health Educators (CHEs) of the National Outreach Network (NON).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants

This research did not involve human participants.

Informed consent

Since this research did not involve human participants, informed consent was not required.

Supplementary material

520_2018_4479_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
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520_2018_4479_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (55 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 55 kb)
520_2018_4479_MOESM3_ESM.docx (49 kb)
ESM 3 (DOCX 49 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah D. Kowitt
    • 1
  • Katrina R. Ellis
    • 2
  • Veronica Carlisle
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nivedita L. Bhushan
    • 4
    • 5
  • Kristin Z. Black
    • 6
  • Kaitlyn Brodar
    • 7
  • Nicole M. Cranley
    • 5
  • Kia L. Davis
    • 8
  • Eugenia Eng
    • 3
    • 5
  • Michelle Y. Martin
    • 9
  • Jared McGuirt
    • 10
  • Rebeccah L. Sokol
    • 5
  • Patrick Y. Tang
    • 4
    • 5
  • Anissa I. Vines
    • 3
    • 11
  • Jennifer S. Walker
    • 12
  • Edwin B. Fisher
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Peers for Progress, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  6. 6.Department of Health Education and Promotion, College of Health and Human PerformanceEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  7. 7.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  8. 8.Division of Public Health SciencesWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  9. 9.Center for Innovation in Health Equity Research and Department of Preventive MedicineUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA
  10. 10.Department of NutritionUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  11. 11.Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  12. 12.Health Sciences LibraryUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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