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Psychol Serv. 2018 Nov 8. doi: 10.1037/ser0000281. [Epub ahead of print]

Perceived helpfulness of peer-delivered trauma specific treatment: A randomized controlled trial.

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Division of Community Behavioral Health, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of New Mexico.
Department of Sociology, University of New Mexico.


Peer providers have been associated with positive outcomes in behavioral health, but little is known about the perceived helpfulness of their services. We used a mixed-methods randomized controlled trial to compare the perceived helpfulness of seeking safety (SS) led by peer providers compared to its delivery by licensed behavioral health clinicians (including both a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor and licensed clinical mental health counselor). Participants (N = 278) rated the helpfulness of 12 SS topics at the end of every session. A subset (n = 245) of participants also rated the helpfulness of SS overall and its treatment components; 3 and 6 months following their first SS group. We also collected qualitative data to inform our understanding of the ways perceived helpfulness varied among participants in peer-led (PL) and clinician-led (CL) groups. Ratings of overall and topic-specific helpfulness were high among both groups, and while ratings were slightly higher among participants in PL groups, the difference was not significant. Participants in PL-SS rated certain treatment components significantly more helpful compared to participants in CL-SS, including the focus on learning coping skills (81.6% PL vs. 64.9% CL, p = .020) and safety as a priority of treatment (81.6% PL vs. 61.5% CL, p = .006). Because of the homogeneity of helpfulness ratings, the relationship between perceived helpfulness and treatment retention and outcomes could not be examined. Future research on this association is warranted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).


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