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Title: Feasibility of peer support services among people with severe mental illness in China
Authors: Fan, Yunge
Ma, Ning
Ma, Liang
Zhang, Wufang
Xu, Wei
Shi, Ruina
Chen, Hanyan
Lamberti, J. Steven
Caine, Eric D.
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Fan, Y., Ma, N., Ma, L., Zhang, W., Xu, W., Shi, R., . . . Caine, E. D. (2019). Feasibility of peer support services among people with severe mental illness in China. BMC Psychiatry, 19(1), 360-. doi:10.1186/s12888-019-2334-x
Journal: BMC Psychiatry
Abstract: Background: Peer-delivered services potentially provide broad, multifaceted benefits for persons suffering severe mental illness. Most studies to date have been conducted in countries with well-developed outpatient mental health systems. The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility for developing a community-based peer service in China. Methods: Thirteen peer service providers and 54 consumers were recruited from four communities in Beijing. We initiated the program in two communities, followed by another two in order to verify and add to our understanding of potential scalable feasibility. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted 12 month after initiation at each site to measure satisfaction and perceived benefits from perspectives of peer service providers, and consumers and their caregivers. Results: Key stakeholders reported that peer support services were satisfying and beneficial. Eleven of 13 peer service providers were willing to continue in their roles. Ten, 8, and 7 of them perceived improvements in working skills, social communication skills, and mood, respectively. Among consumers, 39 of 54 were satisfied with peer services. Improvements in mood, social communication skills, illness knowledge, and illness stability were detected among 23, 18, 13, and 13 consumers, respectively. For caregivers, 31 of 32 expressed a positive view regarding peer services. Caregivers reported improvement in their own mood, confidence in recovery of their family members, and reduction in caretaker burdens. Conclusions: The findings highlight that peer-delivered services have promise in China for benefiting persons with severe mental illness and their family caregivers, as well as the peer service providers themselves.
ISSN: 1471-244X
DOI: 10.1186/s12888-019-2334-x
Rights: © 2019 The Author(s). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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