An evaluation of dyadic peer support for caregiving parents of children with chronic lung disease requiring technology assistance

Soc Work Health Care. 2007;44(3):245-59. doi: 10.1300/J010v44n03_08.


This study evaluated a dyadic peer support pilot intervention for parents of technology-assisted children with chronic lung disease. These medically-fragile children, living at home in the primary care of their parents, require continuous or intermittent assistance from technological support such as home oxygen, respiratory or cardiac monitors and/or mechanical ventilators. The intervention consisted of matching parents with similar caregiving responsibilities, in order to reciprocally engage in parent-to-parent support. Results identified mixed outcomes based on quantitative and qualitative methods. Participants conveyed benefits and limitations of this modality of peer-based support. They generally favoured peer support as a clinical resource for caregiving parents as the intervention offered a valued opportunity for mutual sharing with another parent who could understand the unique realities particular to caring for a medically-fragile child. Sharing daily experiences was reported to reduce isolation, increase knowledge, and provide an important sense of feeling understood. Challenges associated with peer support included scheduling difficulties and personality incompatibility. Recommendations for program development in clinical settings are described.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Caregivers*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Lung Diseases*
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Peer Group*
  • Self-Help Devices*
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires