Peer support within a health care context: a concept analysis

Int J Nurs Stud. 2003 Mar;40(3):321-32. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7489(02)00092-5.


Peer support, and the integration of peer relationships in the provision of health care, is a concept of substantial significance to health scientists and practitioners today, as the focus shifts from the treatment of disease to health promotion. If the nursing profession is to effectively incorporate peer relationships into support-enhancing interventions as a means to improve quality care and health outcomes, it is essential that this growing concept be clearly explicated. This paper explores the concept of peer support through the application of Walker and Avant's (Strategies for Theory Construction in Nursing, 3rd Edition, Prentice-Hall, Toronto, 1995) concept analysis methodology. This analysis will provide the nursing profession with the conceptual basis to effectively develop, implement, evaluate, and compare peer support interventions while also serving as a guide for further conceptual and empirical research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Models, Nursing
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Theory
  • Patient Care / methods*
  • Patient Care / psychology
  • Patient Care / standards
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Peer Group*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Social Support*