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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2009 Spring;32(4):301-5. doi: 10.2975/32.4.2009.301.305.

Pennsylvania Certified Peer Specialist initiative: training, employment and work satisfaction outcomes.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychiatry, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Certified Peer Specialist training initiatives leading to paid peer support positions are increasing nationally. This longitudinal study examines a comprehensive set of outcomes associated with such an initiative undertaken in Pennsylvania beginning in 2004.


Certified Peer Specialist Training participants in three regions of Pennsylvania responded to a 60-item, multiple choice knowledge test based on the Certified Peer Specialist training curriculum. Additionally, these individuals were asked to provide permission to be contacted up to one year after completing the program to obtain employment information related to their experience as a certified peer specialist.


Ninety-seven percent of the trainees successfully completed the program with a 22% increase in knowledge. Eighty-two percent were working one year later. Peer specialists were very satisfied with their employment; felt accepted by co-workers and reported receiving good, but infrequent supervision.


The results suggest that these initiatives can be successfully implemented, although greater attention is needed to ensure that new jobs are being created for trainees and that they are being properly supervised like all other employees.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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