There is evidence of significant benefit from peer support in diabetes management, and peer support is an important element of diabetes care that needs to be considered when addressing the health and economic burden of diabetes.12 24 In this study, we found a high retention rate and positive program outcomes by 6 months, as well as a high level of DPM satisfaction. This is consistent with other peer support studies, such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, where the retention rate was 63% after 1 year and attrition was highest among those with higher education and income, and those with higher baseline hemoglobin A1c levels.13 27 The present study found that volunteer retention was improved by having a single point of contact (N.J.G.) who was available to support volunteers and answer questions. Our results suggest that there is a need to establish further more extensive peer support programs with a focus on diabetes in Australia, and that peer support is an effective model of diabetes care for people with diabetes.
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