Mar 18 2015
In a previous blog “no support for peer support”, I reported on a systematic review of the effectiveness of peer support in mental health. The conclusion of this review was that despite the fact that peer support is a popular idea, valued by service users and carers, as well as organisations, the evidence that it can positively influence service user outcomes (ABOVE AND BEYOND USUAL CARE) is open to interpretation and certainly not clear-cut.
I also drew attention to the issue that peer support is a global term, rather than a specific role or intervention. This lack of a coherent definition, or theoretical understanding of the effectiveness or not of peer support (what the mechanisms and ingredients are that contribute to effectiveness) mean that it is impossible to pool studies together and say definitively that this is a clinically effective intervention that improves outcomes above and beyond what is currently being provided by routine care.
In light of this lack of evidence-base for peer support, Steve Gillard and colleagues undertook a national study of models of peer support in order to understand what is known about peer support delivery in mental health services from a range of perspectives.
I know the article is about the UK but what do people think about peer support? Have you been helped by a peer support worker?