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Schizophr Bull. 2015 Nov;41(6):1211-3. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbv113. Epub 2015 Aug 20.

Creating a Supportive Environment: Peer Support Groups for Psychotic Disorders.

Author information

1
Lentis Research, Lentis Psychiatric Institute, Groningen, The Netherlands; Rob Giel Research Center, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands; s.castelein@lentis.nl.
2
Rob Giel Research Center, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands;
3
School of Medicine and Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT;
4
Department of Psychosis Research, Parnassia Psychiatric Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands; Department of Clinical Psychology, VU University and EMGO Institute of Health and Care Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

People with psychotic disorders frequently experience significant mental and social limitations that may result in persisting social isolation. Research has shown that a supportive social environment is crucial for the process of personal recovery. Peer support groups can provide an opportunity to reduce isolation and enhance the process of personal recovery. It encourages people to express their thoughts, feelings, and personal concerns in a peer-to-peer learning environment. Although the importance of peer support groups for various chronic diseases is widely acknowledged, they do not generally form part of routine care for people with psychotic disorders. The evidence base is promising, but the field could benefit from more rigorous, pragmatic trials with follow-up measurements to establish a solid evidence-base. This article briefly reviews the literature and discusses the barriers to implementation of a peer-support learning environment in routine care, as well as ways to overcome these.

KEYWORDS:

peer support; psychotic disorders; recovery; schizophrenia; social support

PMID:
26297694
PMCID:
PMC4601716
DOI:
10.1093/schbul/sbv113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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