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A systematic review and meta-analysis of group peer support interventions for people experiencing mental health conditions

Lyons, N; Cooper, C; Lloyd-Evans, B; (2021) A systematic review and meta-analysis of group peer support interventions for people experiencing mental health conditions. BMC Psychiatry , 21 , Article 315. 10.1186/s12888-021-03321-z. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Peer support is being integrated within mental health services to further the development of a recovery approach. However, the most effective models and formats of intervention delivery are unknown. We conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of peer support for improving outcomes for people with lived experience of mental health conditions, when delivered as group interventions. METHODS: Studies reporting randomised controlled trials of group peer support interventions for people experiencing mental health conditions were identified by searching MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase and Cochrane CENTRAL, from inception until July 12th 2019 and undertaking supplementary searches. Included studies were assessed for risk of bias and meta-analyses were conducted if three or more trials provided usable data. RESULTS: Eight trials met eligibility criteria, providing data from 2131 participants. Six trials had either high or unclear risk of bias. Interventions were categorised as mutual support groups, or peer support groups, sub-categorised as anti-stigma or self-management interventions. Meta-analyses were only possible for peer support groups and five outcomes. We found evidence that group peer support may make small improvements to overall recovery but not hope or empowerment individually, or to clinical symptoms. Evidence for effectiveness for outcomes which could not be meta-analysed was mixed. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from the few eligible trials suggest group peer support interventions may be specifically effective for supporting personal recovery and have a limited impact on other outcomes, though there were some risks of bias to study findings. Interventions were heterogeneous and most social outcomes were absent in the literature, highlighting further limitations to the current evidence-base. There is insufficient evidence available from trials of group peer support torecommend the routine implementation of these interventions across mainstream mental health services at present. More high-quality trials of peer-developed, group peer support interventions are needed in order tomake firm conclusions about intervention effectiveness.

Type: Article
Title: A systematic review and meta-analysis of group peer support interventions for people experiencing mental health conditions
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12888-021-03321-z
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-021-03321-z
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Peer support, Group interventions, Mental health services, Systematic review, Meta-analysis, Recovery
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130413
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