The science of peer support as applied to behavioral medicine and the care of individuals surviving with cancer: A commentary on "peer mentors delivering a physical activity intervention for cancer survivors: Effects among mentors by Pinto et al."

Christine Marie Rini*, Kristi D. Graves, Suzanne C. O'Neill, Kenneth P. Tercyak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a critical gap between the resources available to promote health and wellness after cancer and services that address these public health goals. Researchers, policy makers, healthcare providers, and community stakeholders increasingly recognize the benefits of filling this gap with trained peer mentors who can provide health-promotion services to fellow cancer survivors. This commentary addresses a mixed-method study by Pinto and colleagues that investigated the responses and experiences of trained peer mentors who delivered their telephone-based physical activity intervention for breast cancer survivors. Their findings suggested that peer mentors did not experience harms from their role while revealing that peer mentors reported benefits related to helping themselves and helping others. Drawing on our expertise in peer support provision and peer mentoring, we address the significant opportunity offered by training peer mentors to deliver behavioral interventions, draw connections to relevant literatures and theoretical perspectives on potential benefits for peer mentors, and highlight the need for rigorous, theory-based research to determine the circumstances under which peer mentoring benefits mentors and the mechanisms underlying these benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-854
Number of pages4
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 21 2018

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Intervention
  • Peer mentor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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