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Psychiatr Serv. 2009 Feb;60(2):250-3. doi: 10.1176/

Initial evaluation of the Peer-to-Peer program.

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  • 1Center for Mental Health Services Research, University of Maryland, Baltimore, 737 West Lombard St., Room 258, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.



Peer-to-Peer, sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is a structured, experiential, self-empowerment, relapse prevention and wellness program led by trained peer mentors for people with mental illnesses. The authors conducted the first empirical evaluation of the program by using a pre-post survey design.


Approximately 550 participants who were enrolled in Peer-to-Peer during the data collection period (2005-2006) were invited to complete a brief, anonymous survey before participating in the program and immediately after.


Analyses of responses from 138 participants indicated that they gained significant benefits, especially in areas central to the Peer-to-Peer curriculum--specifically, knowledge and management of their illness, feelings of being less powerless and more confident, connection with others, and completion of an advance directive. Qualitative analysis of responses to an open-ended postintervention question supported the quantitative findings.


Peer-to-Peer is a promising self-help modality that warrants additional evaluation with more rigorous methodology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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