Peer support (PS) has, over recent years, been implemented across a variety of NHS adult mental health settings. In November 2015, peer support workers (PSW) were introduced to an Early Intervention in Psychosis Service (EIS) in the Midlands. The purpose of this paper is to focus on organisational factors, asking how do PS impact on an early intervention in psychosis multi-disciplinary team (MDT).
Six EIS MDT members participated in an hour-long focus group. The data were analysed using thematic analysis, in line with a qualitative methodology (Braun and Clarke, 2006).
Two themes were generated, including “The values of PS” (consisting of three sub-themes: improving service engagement; personal qualities; and the peer relationship); and “The peer support role” (consisting of three sub-themes: living experience; boundaries; and alternative perspectives). Findings imply that PS in the current EIS related to: improved service engagement and greater understanding between service providers and users; which could be linked to better outcomes for service users (such as reduced duration of untreated psychosis (DUP)).
It has been suggested that PSWs facilitate an improved understanding between service providers and service users (Repper and Watson, 2012). However, research into organisational and team benefits of PS is lacking, with a need for more exploration (Repper, 2013). The current study begins to address the lack of literature regarding the organisational impact of PS, and even further regarding early intervention.
White, H., Price, L. and Barker, T. (2017), "Exploring the impact of peer support in early intervention in psychosis", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 102-109. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-12-2016-0036Download as .RIS
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