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Augmenting Ongoing Depression Care With a Mutual Peer Support Intervention Versus Self-Help Materials Alone: A Randomized Trial.

Valenstein M, Pfeiffer PN, Brandfon S, Walters H, Ganoczy D, Kim HM, Cohen JL, Benn-Burton W, Carroll E, Henry J, Garcia E, Risk B, Kales HC, Piette JD, Heisler M. Augmenting Ongoing Depression Care With a Mutual Peer Support Intervention Versus Self-Help Materials Alone: A Randomized Trial. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2016 Feb 1; 67(2):236-9.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: Various models of peer support may be implemented in mental health settings. This randomized trial assessed the effectiveness of a telephone-delivered mutual peer support intervention. METHODS: A total of 443 patients receiving ongoing depression treatment from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were enrolled in either enhanced usual care (N = 243) or the peer support intervention (N = 200). Intent-to-treat analyses assessed outcomes at six months postenrollment, excluding 56 patients who experienced an unplanned telephone platform shutdown. RESULTS: At baseline, patients had substantial depressive symptoms, functional limitations, and low quality of life. Both groups showed significant clinical improvements at six months, with no significant differences by group. CONCLUSIONS: Telephone-delivered mutual peer support for patients with depression did not improve outcomes beyond those observed with enhanced usual care. Other peer support models, with more "professionalized" peers delivering a structured curriculum, may be more effective.





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