Peer-led self-management for people with severe mental disorders: an economic evaluation

Iemmi V, Crepaz-Keay D, Cyhlarova E, Knapp M

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice 2015, 10, 1: 14—25

Abstract

Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a peer-led self-management intervention for people with severe mental disorders.

Design/methodology/approach
– This is a one-arm longitudinal study without control group. In all, 262 adults with (self-reported) severe mental disorders, who have used secondary mental health services and were living in the community were evaluated at three time points (baseline, six and 12 months). Socio-demographic data were collected at baseline. Wellbeing (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale), functional living skills (Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile II) and service use (Client Service Receipt Inventory) data were assessed over time.

Findings
– Self-management for people with severe mental disorders improved wellbeing and health-promoting lifestyles. After an increase in the short term, costs appeared to decrease in the longer term, although this change was not statistically significant. Due to the lack of a control group, the authors are unable to attribute those changes to the intervention only. Nevertheless, the self-management intervention appears to warrant further attention on both wellbeing and economic grounds.

Originality/value
– Self-management may facilitate recovery, helping to support people with severe mental disorders at no additional cost. Given recent emphasis on recovery, peer workers and self-management, this peer-led self-management approach for people with severe mental disorders appears to have potential.