A phenomenological study with African American male cardiac peer support volunteers
This qualitative phenomenological study was designed to focus on the lived experiences of African American male cardiovascular peer support volunteers (AAMCPSV) within a healthcare setting. There is a paucity of African American male peer support volunteers to work with the increasing numbers of African American cardiovascular patients. The scarcity of AAMCPSV warrants the question of factors contributing to the lack of organizational policies, challenges faced within hospital staff, and lessons learned from the few males who have been peer support volunteers in the past five years. The purpose of the study was to explore the lived experiences of AAMCPSV with a goal of understanding the phenomena from their perspectives. This research was guided by one overarching research question: What are the lived experiences of African American male cardiac peer support volunteers in a healthcare setting? The findings of this study from the perspectives of the AAMCPSV are that the African American peer support volunteer is the most capable member of the healthcare team to help guide the cardiac patient and family out of the crisis; volunteering to the African American patient improves the cardiac health of the volunteer and the patient; masculinity and sexuality are underlying and under recognized concerns; and the AAMCPSV want to empower other African American males to join the cause.