Recommendation ID
Peer support interventions:- What is the clinical and cost effectiveness of peer support interventions in people with psychosis and schizophrenia?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- Service users have supported the development of peer support interventions, which have recently proliferated in the UK, but current evidence for these interventions in people with psychotic disorders is not strong and the studies are mainly of very low quality. Moreover the content of the programmes has varied considerably, some using structured interventions, others providing more informal support. There is therefore an urgent need for high-quality evidence in this area.
The programme of research would be in several stages. First, there should be development work to establish what specifically service users want from peer support workers, as opposed to what they want from professionals, and what the conditions are for optimal delivery of the intervention. This development work should be co-produced by exploring the views of service users, experienced peer support workers and developers of peer support interventions, and suitable outcome measures should be identified reflecting the aims of peer support. Second, the intervention, delivered as far as possible under the optimal conditions, should be tested in a high-quality trial. Further research should test structured and manualised formats versus unstructured formats (in which service user and peer decide together what to cover in the session). Benefits and adverse effects experienced by peer support workers should also be measured.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: prevention and management
Date issued
February 2014

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 13/03/2014