Implementation of a peer support program for people with heart disease

Our multidisciplinary team and stakeholders will build on our previous research to evaluate a scalable strategy for improving survivorship and reducing morbidity for people living with heart disease via the implementation of a peer support program that has in-person and digital options. We will evaluate a phased roll-out (stepped wedge cluster RCT) of the peer and emotional support across 25 LGAs (>1200 patients) across Australia.

The in-person option will expand the existing Heart Support Australia program across diverse geographical areas and community groups. The digital option is our purpose-built co-designed ‘app’ (Heart2Heart) that enables digital peer support based on the concept of emotional contagion. We will also establish a national peer support registry of connected and engaged patients managed within the Heart2Heart database enabling ongoing evaluation, communication and quality improvement by leveraging capacity across geographical and cultural groups. 


The Team

  • Prof Julie Redfern, USYD, Professor of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health
  • Prof Robyn Gallagher, USYD, Professor of Nursing
  • Prof Adrian Bauman, Emeritus Professor of Public Health, Sydney School of Public Health
  • Prof Gemma Figtree, Interventional cardiologist and professor at USYD;
  • Prof Tom Briffa, UWA, Head of Cardiovascular Research Group and Centre for Health Services Research
  • Prof Andrew Maiorana, Professor at Curtin University and Exercise Physiologist
  • Prof Maree Hackett, Program Head, Mental Health at The George Institute for Global Health
  • Dr Karice Hyun, USYD, Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Stephen Law, USYD Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics.
  • Associate Professor Simon Poon, USYD, Health Informatics Research  
  • Dr Clara Zwack, USYD Research Fellow
  • Dr Emily Li, USYD Research Officer