Healing Our Own: A Randomized Trial to Assess Benefits of Peer Support

Enid Y. Rivera-Chiauzzi, Heather A. Smith, Tanya Moore-Murray, Colleen Lee, Dena Goffman, Peter S. Bernstein, Cynthia Chazotte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aimed to develop and evaluate a structured peer support program to address the needs of providers involved in obstetric adverse outcomes. Methods: In this pilot randomized controlled trial, participants were providers who experienced an obstetric-related adverse outcome. Providers were randomly assigned to routine support (no further follow-up) or enhanced support (follow-up with a trained peer supporter). Participants completed surveys at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. The primary outcome was the use of resources and the perception of their helpfulness. Secondary outcomes were the effect on the recovery stages and the duration of use of peer support. Results: Fifty participants were enrolled and randomly assigned 1:1 to each group; 42 completed the program (enhanced, 23; routine, 19). The 2 groups were not significantly different with respect to event type, demographics, or baseline stage; in both groups, most participants started at the stage 6 thriving path. Most participants required less than 3 months of support: 65.2% did not need follow-up after the first contact, and 91.3% did not need follow-up after the second contact. Participants who transitioned from an early stage of recovery (stages 1-3) to the stage 6 thriving path reported that they most often sought support from peers (P = 0.02) and departmental leadership (P = 0.07). Those in the enhanced support group were significantly more likely to consider departmental leadership as one of the most helpful resources (P = 0.02). Conclusions: For supporting health care providers involved in adverse outcomes, structured peer support is a practicable intervention that can be initiated with limited resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E308-E314
JournalJournal of patient safety
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Obstetric adverse outcomes
  • Peer support
  • Provider burnout
  • Provider wellness
  • Second victim
  • Thriving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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