Peer support between healthcare workers in hospital and out-of-hospital settings: a scoping review

Peer support between healthcare workers in hospital and out-of-hospital settings: a scoping review


  • Roberta Carbone a:1:{s:5:"en_US";s:12:"psychologist";}
  • Silvia Ferrari AUSL Romagna, Rimini, Italy
  • Stefano Callegarin Master In Critical Area Nursing, University of Parma, Italy
  • Francesca Casotti Master In Critical Area Nursing, University of Parma, Italy
  • Laura Turina Master In Critical Area Nursing, University of Parma, Italy
  • Giovanna Artioli Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Italy
  • Antonio Bonacaro School of Health and Sports Sciences, University of Suffolk, United Kingdom


Peer Support, Nursing, Stress, Hospital, Emergency, Bournout, Healthcare worker


Background and aim. The healthcare workers, mostly in emergency departments, are exposed to emotionally strong situations that can lead to psychological trauma. Often those who experience the “second victim” phenomenon find comfort in dealing with Peers that can help to understand emotions and normalize lived experiences. A scoping review was conducted to clarify the key concepts available in the literature and understand Peer Support characteristics and methods of implementation. 

Methods. Scoping review J.B.I. approach was used. The reviewers analyzed the last twenty-one years of literature and extracted data from relevant studies.

 Results. The research revealed 49 articles that discuss Peer Support in the healthcare system. Often articles involve healthcare workers without work area and role distinctions. 56% of the articles have been published in the last two years and the Anglo-Saxon countries are the main geographical area of ​​origin (82%). Peer support emerges as a preclinical psychological support for people involved in tiring situations. It’s based on mutual respect and on voluntary and not prejudicial help. Peers are trained to guide the support relationship and identify the signs of possible pathologies. Peer Support can be proposed as one to one/group peer support, or through online platforms. 

Conclusion. It can be said that Peer Support programs had an important development in the years of the Covid 19 pandemic. Many of the studies affirm that the personnel involved have benefited from the programs available. It is necessary to carry out further research to determine the pre and post intervention benefits.


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How to Cite

Peer support between healthcare workers in hospital and out-of-hospital settings: a scoping review. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2022 Oct. 26 [cited 2024 Jun. 20];93(5):e2022308. Available from:

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