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Effects of employment as a peer support worker on personal recovery: a review of qualitative evidence

H. Alistair Bailie (Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Anna Tickle (Academic and Research Tutor, Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 9 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to systematically identify, appraise and synthesise qualitative research into how working as a peer support worker (PSW) affects personal recovery.

Design/methodology/approach

Ten articles were identified through a systematic search of seven databases, grey literature, reference lists, citations and contact with authors in the field. Identified articles were critically appraised and their results synthesised using metaethnography.

Findings

There is potential to significantly improve the quality of the research in this field. Four categories were constructed to synthesise the findings of the reviewed studies, which demonstrated that being a PSW has the potential to be both facilitative of and detrimental to personal recovery.

Research limitations/implications

The quality of existing studies varies widely. Further, high-quality research is required to specifically investigate the effects of employment as a PSW on personal recovery.

Practical implications

The findings are tentative in light of the quality of the studies, but should be considered in the employment, training and ongoing support of PSWs and the services they join.

Originality/value

Through its systematic methodology and appraisal of the quality of the studies reviewed, this review adds value to the literature about the effect of working as a PSW on personal recovery. It offers an original synthesis and criteria for measuring the quality of research in this field.

Keywords

Citation

Bailie, H.A. and Tickle, A. (2015), "Effects of employment as a peer support worker on personal recovery: a review of qualitative evidence", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 48-64. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-04-2014-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited