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Aims: To determine whether incorporation of patient peer supporters in a Cardiac‐Diabetes Self‐Management Program (Peer‐CDSMP) led to greater improvement in self‐efficacy, knowledge and self‐management behaviour in the intervention group compared to a control group.

Background: Promoting improved self‐management for those with diabetes and a cardiac condition is enhanced by raising motivation and providing a model. Peer support from former patients who are able to successfully manage similar conditions could enhance patient motivation to achieve better health outcomes and provide a model of how such management can be achieved. While studies on peer support have demonstrated the potential of peers in promoting self‐management, none have examined the impact on patients with two co‐morbidities.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial was used to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of the Peer‐CDSMP from August 2009 to December 2010. Thirty cardiac patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited. The study commenced in an acute hospital, follow‐up at participants' homes in Brisbane, Australia.

Results: While both the control and intervention groups had improved self‐care behaviour, self‐efficacy and knowledge, the improvement in knowledge was significantly greater for the intervention group.

Conclusions: Significant improvement in knowledge was achieved for the intervention group. Absence of significant improvements in self‐efficacy and self‐care behaviour represents an inconclusive effect; further studies with larger sample sizes are recommended.


School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine

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Journal Article

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