An evaluation of peer-led self-management training for people with severe psychiatric diagnoses

Cyhlarova E, Crepaz-Keay D, Reeves R, Morgan K, Iemmi V, Knapp M

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice 2015, 10, 1: 3—13

Abstract

Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to establish the effectiveness of self-management training as an intervention for people using secondary mental health services.

Design/methodology/approach
– A self-management and peer support intervention was developed and delivered by secondary mental health service users to 262 people with psychiatric diagnoses living in the community. Data on wellbeing and health-promoting behaviour were collected at three time points (baseline, six, and 12 months).

Findings
– Participants reported significant improvements in wellbeing and health-promoting lifestyle six and 12 months after self-management training. Peer-led self-management shows potential to improve long-term health outcomes for people with psychiatric diagnoses.

Research limitations/implications
– Due to the lack of a control group, the positive changes cannot definitively be attributed to the intervention. Other limitations were reliance on self-report measures, and the varying numbers of completers at three time points. These issues will be addressed in future studies.

Practical implications
– The evaluation demonstrated the effectiveness of self-management training for people with psychiatric diagnoses, suggesting self-management training may bring significant wellbeing gains for this group.

Social implications
– This study represents a first step in the implementation of self-management approaches into mental health services. It demonstrates the feasibility of people with psychiatric diagnoses developing and delivering an effective intervention that complements existing services.

Originality/value
– This is the first study to investigate the effectiveness of a self-management training programme developed and delivered by mental health service users in the UK.