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Review tempers expectations for peer-led services but further studies are required
  1. Anthony O Ahmed,
  2. Peter F Buckley
  1. Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Georgia, USA; aahmed@gru.edu

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What is already known on this topic?

Peer-led interventions have emerged in the spirit of the consumer/survivor movement in the past three decades. Their implementation has grown steadily internationally, and in the USA they likely outnumber the number of traditional care services.1 Although several favourable reviews of peer-led interventions exist, they also acknowledge the limited empirical support from rigorous clinical trials.2

What does this paper add?

  • Even though peer-led interventions do not produce significant benefits on symptoms, hospitalisation status and satisfaction with services, peer-led services appear to foster hope, empowerment and experiential recovery at post-treatment and follow-up evaluations.

  • The authors’ assertion that their findings do not support the recommendation for mandatory peer-led services is one-sided. Peer-led interventions are viewed as necessary for the transformation of traditional care systems viewed as paternalistic and fostering disability and dependency into systems that are more inclusive and responsive to consumer choice, civil rights and autonomy.3 They are also viewed as necessary for exposing care recipients to peer mentors—other individuals who …

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