Peer support interventions for people with cancer, their families, and friends have been widely used throughout the world. The present study reviewed the research literature on psychosocial oncology over the past decade to assess the prevalence and contribution of articles on peer support. Using CD-Rom databases, 25 articles were retrieved for review. In each article, patients or their family members were the target group for supportive interventions, which were primarily for the delivery of peer support and included either a qualitative or quantitative evaluation of the program. A definitional taxonomy for peer support interventions, which identified eight discrete settings, was derived from three key dimensions: style of supervision, interpersonal context, and mode of delivery. The studies suggested that peer support programs help by providing emotional and informational support from the perspective of shared personal experience. However, a paucity of research-particularly randomized controlled trials-was noted. The reasons may include inherent difficulties in isolating for study what is essentially a naturalistically occurring interpersonal dynamic from the complex social and community contexts from which it emanates. The authors discuss the gap between practice and theory in this area and recommend a broader and more inclusive view of supportive care for people with cancer. (C) 2003 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.