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Question: What is the effect of employing current or past consumers of mental health services as providers of statutory mental health services?
Outcomes: Outcomes for clients in receipt of statutory mental health services: psychosocial well-being (quality of life, function, social relations), mental health outcomes (general symptoms, depression) and adverse events and adverse effects not otherwise captured. Outcomes for service provision: client satisfaction, use of services (eg, uptake, drop-out or use of emergency services) and service provision patterns (eg, time management).
Design: Systematic review.
Data sources: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Current Contents were searched up to March 2012, supplemented by hand search of the reference lists of relevant articles and contact with authors for information on unpublished and ongoing trials.
Study selection and analysis: Randomised controlled trials that compared mental health services delivered by consumer–providers (CP) (past or current mental health service users employed as providers), with services provided by professionals; or that compared usual care plus adjunct consumer-provider services with usual care alone. Intervention effects were estimated using a random-effects model, and assessment was made of risk of bias …
Competing interests None.
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