Development and evaluation of an online infertility peer supporter training program

Patient Educ Couns. 2020 May;103(5):1005-1012. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2019.11.019. Epub 2019 Nov 18.


Objective: To outline the development and evaluation of an online infertility peer supporter training program.

Methods: Men and women with diverse infertility backgrounds were recruited and trained to provide online peer support to people undergoing fertility treatment. Training required volunteers to (1) read a peer support training manual, (2) watch a webinar, and (3) complete practice questions, each of which was evidence-based and reviewed by key stakeholders.

Results: Seventeen women and one man were trained and provided online peer support. Program satisfaction was high and training materials were rated as helpful. Peer supporters felt comfortable providing support and having their discussions monitored. They liked helping others and the convenience of a mobile application.

Conclusion: Online recruitment and training of infertility peer supporters is feasible. The current program was acceptable and offers steps for improving future online peer support interventions.

Practice implications: Current evidence supports the acceptability and feasibility of this training and supervision program, and provides service providers with information guiding its development and implementation.

Keywords: Infertility; Peer support; Program evaluation; Training; eHealth; mHealth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Infertility* / psychology
  • Infertility* / therapy
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications
  • Peer Group
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Support
  • Telemedicine
  • Volunteers / education*