An evaluation of peer-led self-management training for people with severe psychiatric diagnoses

Eva Cyhlarova (Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)
David Crepaz-Keay (Department of Empowerment and Social Inclusion, Mental Health Foundation, London, UK)
Rachel Reeves (School of Health & Social Care, University of Greenwich, London, UK)
Kirsten Morgan (Department of Empowerment and Social Inclusion, Mental Health Foundation, London, UK)
Valentina Iemmi (Personal Social Services Research Unit, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK)
Martin Knapp (Personal Social Services Research Unit, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Publication date: 9 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish the effectiveness of self-management training as an intervention for people using secondary mental health services.

Design/methodology/approach

A self-management and peer support intervention was developed and delivered by secondary mental health service users to 262 people with psychiatric diagnoses living in the community. Data on wellbeing and health-promoting behaviour were collected at three time points (baseline, six, and 12 months).

Findings

Participants reported significant improvements in wellbeing and health-promoting lifestyle six and 12 months after self-management training. Peer-led self-management shows potential to improve long-term health outcomes for people with psychiatric diagnoses.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the lack of a control group, the positive changes cannot definitively be attributed to the intervention. Other limitations were reliance on self-report measures, and the varying numbers of completers at three time points. These issues will be addressed in future studies.

Practical implications

The evaluation demonstrated the effectiveness of self-management training for people with psychiatric diagnoses, suggesting self-management training may bring significant wellbeing gains for this group.

Social implications

This study represents a first step in the implementation of self-management approaches into mental health services. It demonstrates the feasibility of people with psychiatric diagnoses developing and delivering an effective intervention that complements existing services.

Originality/value

This is the first study to investigate the effectiveness of a self-management training programme developed and delivered by mental health service users in the UK.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Wales. The authors are grateful to Jo Ackerman and Alyson Hammonds for their assistance on the project, and to Dr Helen Parsons for her advice. The authors also thank Bipolar UK for supporting the data collection.

Citation

Cyhlarova, E., Crepaz-Keay, D., Reeves, R., Morgan, K., Iemmi, V. and Knapp, M. (2015), "An evaluation of peer-led self-management training for people with severe psychiatric diagnoses", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 3-13. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-08-2014-0020

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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