Evid Based Nurs 3:135 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.4.135
  • Qualitative

Helping, mutual sharing, committing, and benefiting described the peer advisor experience of providing social support

 QUESTION: What are the experiences of peer advisors with previous myocardial infarctions (MI) who provide social support to unpartnered, post-MI elders?


Qualitative study.


A northeastern city in the US.


10 actively involved peer advisors (mean age 69 y, 60% women) who had had an MI in the previous 1–3 years were recruited from a cardiac rehabilitation maintenance programme. Inclusion criteria were age ≥62 years, ≥12 months since MI, ability to speak and read English, access to a telephone, and ability to communicate effectively. These peer advisors had received 4 hours of training and provided social support for a group of post-MI unpartnered elders (n=45) in a large randomised clinical trial.


Data collection consisted of peer advisor logs (26 peer-elder dyads), a focus group interview (5 peer advisors), and individual telephone interviews (3 expert peer advisors). The process of data reduction, data display, conclusion drawing, and verification identified by Miles and Huberman* was used.

Main findings

A synthesis …

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