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Health Services Research & Development

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Spotlight on Mental Health Centers of Excellence

VA Peer Specialists: Who uses them and what benefit do they convey?


by Matthew Chinman, PhD
Seminar date: 2/10/2020

Description: Homeless Veterans with serious mental illness (SMI) remain a difficult population to engage and treat. Some previous research on Peer Specialists (PSs)—individuals in recovery from SMI hired as clinical team members—suggests they can improve patient engagement and other outcomes among this Veteran population, but no definitive study has been conducted. As part of a larger randomized trial comparing recently housed Veterans with SMI receiving usual care or usual care+Peer Specialist (PS) services over one year, analyses were conducted assessing the degree to which more engagement in PS services (PS visits) led to improved outcomes, and which factors predicted greater PS engagement. Intended Audience: Policy makers, providers, Peer Specialists



DOWNLOAD: PDF handout | Audio only (mp3) | transcript


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