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Psychiatr Serv. 1999 May;50(5):693-5.

Mental health consumers as peer interviewers.

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  • 1Clinical Research Center for Schizophrenia, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


Although consumers are increasingly hired as mental health workers, they typically fulfill demanding jobs such as case manager. This study examined the performance and job satisfaction of 18 consumers with serious mental illness who were hired for less demanding work--to conduct highly structured interviews with their peers. The consumers completed interviews with 243 peers. Only one interviewer was unable to perform the work. Ninety percent of the interviews were completed satisfactorily. Interviewers reported increased skills and knowledge, improved self-assurance, and feelings of pride. Results of the study suggest that a wide range of consumers can perform structured treatment tasks.

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