Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand a new perspective of using peer-to-peer intervention in mental health.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to learn the importance and potential benefits of peer-led intervention for the long-term wellness of people with schizophrenia.
A 6-week peer-led self-management (PLSMP) was developed based on the theoretical support and active components identified from a systematic review. It has English and Chinese versions. It was reviewed by experts’ panel and modified according to the participants’ opinion. The study aims:
1. To examine the effectiveness of the designed PLSMP for people with schizophrenia in reducing psychotic symptom severity, and in enhancing, empowerment, medication adherence, perceived recovery, and social support.
2. To explore peer trainers’ perspectives in leading PLSMP, and participants’ perspectives in the PLSMP and the standard rehabilitation programme.
A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the PLSMP with pretest-posttest design. Twenty participants were recruited from three community psychiatric rehabilitation centres in Singapore. They have schizophrenia and Global Assessment of Functioning level of 50 and above. Participants completed the 6-week PLSMP in group sessions. It was conducted in English or Chinese by peer trainers, who have schizophrenia and were trained and delivered the PLSMP. Paired t-test was used to analyse participant’s outcomes before and after the PLSMP.
After completing the PLSMP, participants reported significantly improved empowerment score (t=-2.70, p=0.014), and perceived recovery score (t= -2.59, p=0.018), and medication adherence attitude (t=-3.04, p=0.007). Symptom severity level was reportedly reduced with borderline significant level (t=2.03, p=0.056). Participants’ perceived social support was reported to be non-significant (t=-1.81, p=0.087).
The significant results reported in the pilot study were congruent with current literatures. Further rigorous RCT is in progress to provide more conclusive evidence on its long-term effectiveness comparing to no intervention.