Published Date: November 27, 2023

Summary: Home care workers (HCWs) provide essential care in patients’ homes but are often underappreciated and work in stressful and isolated environments with diverse and intersecting support needs. This study describes a computer-mediated peer support program that centers around sharing circles: spaces for personal, narrative storytelling to encourage HCWs to collaboratively reflect on their home care experiences and build rapport with their peers. Authors describe program design and a 12-week deployment to evaluate the program with 42 HCWs in New York City. 

Findings: Participants engaged in multiple types of peer support including emotional validation, learning how to navigate the workplace and patient care, defining and enabling good home care praxis, and building understanding around purpose and identity as HCWs. Authors discuss how findings inform the design of technology and use of holistic pedagogies, such as storytelling, to enable this support in computer-mediated peer support programs. Such programs can help researchers and practitioners interested in addressing diverse needs that occur in intersectional contexts, such as that of HCWs and other marginalized populations.

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