Peer Support Research Questions from the Perspective of
There is a growing interest in research on peer support interventions in mental health services. Studies document numerous positive benefits for those who participate in these services, including peer providers themselves (1). In fact, peer support is now regarded as an evidence based model of care (2, 3). Peer providers are employed in a variety of settings in a number of capacities, often working to affect self-determination, health and wellness, hope, communication with providers, illness management, and stigma (4). Yet, the published literature on peer provided services is still within its infancy, and there are clear opportunities for additional research. Examples of questions that have been generated by academic (mostly non-peer) researchers
What are the unique benefits associated with peer provided services?
What are the best methods for the selection and training of peer providers?
Which peer provided services are most effective?
What makes a peer a peer? (5, 6)
Recognizing the central role that those involved in the practice of peer support should have in establishing future research directions, we convened a group of individuals (more than 50 attended the session!) at the 2016 International Association of Peer Specialists (iNAPS) conference held in Philadelphia and asked what they perceived to be the most important questions for the field. 32 questions and comments were identified and presented in the following paper: Peer Support Research Questions from the Perspective of iNAPS Attendees.
Journal Articles on the Effectiveness of Peer Support
The list below is a summary of research that has studied the value of peer support. This list and will continue to grow as there are several researchers who have reports that are soon to be released.
Many of the documents listed are proprietary so they will have to be accessed via various research databases. Some are free downloads, some are not but those can be accessed with subscriptions to journal databases such as Questia.com.
This list was, almost entirely, created by Larry Davidson. Many thanks for your ongoing support Larry!
WRAP as an Evidence Based Practice
One of the most common peer support practices and recovery programs is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan™ (WRAP™). After extensive study, based on a specific protocol, WRAP has been designated as an evidence-based practice as described in the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). To learn more about WRAP and the study that led to this designation, visit:
This is a registration site for researchers to find participants to enroll in studies – and for those who would like to participate in research related to mental health issues, to find researchers who are doing research of interest.
Other Research on Peer Support Practices
If you have other research on Peer Support Practices that you would like to submit – send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.