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Peer support in early intervention in psychosis: a qualitative research study

Nguyen, J., Goldsmith, L., Rains, L. S. & Gillard, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-9686-2232 (2022). Peer support in early intervention in psychosis: a qualitative research study. Journal of Mental Health, 31(2), pp. 196-202. doi: 10.1080/09638237.2021.1922647


BACKGROUND: There is evidence that peer support can be helpful for people suffering from psychosis, but there is a lack of research describing peer support in the context of Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP).

AIMS: We aim to investigate the key elements of peer support in EIP and how peer support workers might best be recruited and supported in their work.

METHOD: We used purposive sampling to recruit seven participants for semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. RESULTS: Destigmatisation of psychotic experiences is a central concept that runs through all themes. Participants perceived peer support as a meaningful source of support that could provide benefits to peers (service users) and peer support workers. Themes included a "symbol of hope," "practical support," "mutuality and reciprocity," "bridge between service and peers," "ideal requirements of peer support workers," "delivering peer support," and "team-working and role clarification."

CONCLUSIONS: Peer support makes a strong contribution to destigmatising psychosis. Findings potentially contribute to developing peer support workers' roles in EIP. Future research is recommended to investigate the perspectives of ethnic minorities on this topic and practical applications of these findings.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or builtupon in any way. This article has been published in Journal of Mental Health, DOI:
Publisher Keywords: Early intervention;psychosis; peer support;thematic; qualitative; stigma
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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