Some Recovery Processes in Mutual-Help Groups for Persons with Mental Illness; II: Qualitative Analysis of Participant Interviews

Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, University of Chicago, 1033 University Place, Evanston, IL 60201, USA.
Community Mental Health Journal (Impact Factor: 1.03). 01/2006; 41(6):721-35. DOI: 10.1007/s10597-005-6429-0
Source: PubMed


Previous research suggests that consumer operated services facilitate recovery from serious mental illness. In part I of this series, we analyzed the content of the GROW program, one example of a consumer operated service, and identified several processes that Growers believe assists in recovery. In this paper, we review the qualitative interviews of 57 Growers to determine what actual participants in GROW acknowledge are important processes for recovery. We also used the interviews to identify the elements of recovery according to these Growers. Growers identified self-reliance, industriousness, and self-esteem as key ingredients of recovery. Recovery was distinguished into a process-an ongoing life experience-versus an outcome, a feeling of being cured or having overcome the disorder. The most prominent element of GROW that facilitated recovery was the support of peers. Gaining a sense of personal value was also fostered by GROW and believed to be important for recovery. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of these findings for the ongoing development of consumer operated services and their impact on recovery.

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    • "In line with qualitative research (e.g., Corrigan et al., 2005; Finn et al., 2009), the most frequent responses centred on benefitting from coping and support (39%). Others (21%) mentioned the need to affiliate with others (e.g., 'meet others', 'not be alone'), that it helps improve or maintain their mental health (17%), that it provides hope (12%), or that they can help others (5%). "
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    ABSTRACT: Self-help groups for mental health problems are widely used, yet studies of their effectiveness show mixed results and are often not theoretically guided. Drawing on empowerment, stigma, and social selection perspectives, we test a theoretically organized model of the relationships between self-help group involvement, empowerment, and recovery outcomes (symptoms and quality of life). Using two-wave survey data from a sample of 553 persons with mental illnesses in self-help groups and outpatient services, we find (1) ‘social selection’ effects - persons with greater symptoms and lower quality of life are less likely to be a part of self-help groups, (2) that self-help is associated with some beneficial effects on self-esteem, but is associated with stronger beliefs about expected stigma, (3) that self-help may yield only slight benefits to quality of life, and (4) perceived helpfulness of self-help and group involvement are reciprocally related. Open-ended questions reveal why some of our respondents never attended self-help group meetings, why those who continue to attend do so, and why others stop attending.
    Health Sociology Review 03/2015; 24(2):1-14. DOI:10.1080/14461242.2015.1015149 · 0.49 Impact Factor
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    • "An ongoing area of investigation has been to understand what makes peer support work. Among the components of peer support that have been identified as important are the personal characteristics of peers [25], the values embodied by peer support [9,26,27], the specific activities that fall under the peer support umbrella [2,28], and the processes through which peer support works to effect good results [4,7,9,26,29-31]. Despite the existence of quite a large literature that explores such components, several authors have called for more detailed empirical examination of these “critical ingredients” of peer support [19,22,32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The extant literature suggests that poorly defined job roles make it difficult for peer support workers to be successful, and hinder their integration into multi-disciplinary workplace teams. This article uses data gathered as part of a participatory evaluation of a peer support program at a psychiatric tertiary care facility to specify the work that peers do. Methods Data were gathered through interviews, focus groups, and activity logs and were analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Results Peers engage in direct work with clients and in indirect work that supports their work with clients. The main types of direct work are advocacy, connecting to resources, experiential sharing, building community, relationship building, group facilitation, skill building/mentoring/goal setting, and socialization/self-esteem building. The main types of indirect work are group planning and development, administration, team communication, supervision/training, receiving support, education/awareness building, and information gathering and verification. In addition, peers also do work aimed at building relationships with staff and work aimed at legitimizing the peer role. Experience, approach, presence, role modeling, collaboration, challenge, and compromise can be seen as the tangible enactments of peers’ philosophy of work. Conclusions Candidates for positions as peer support workers require more than experience with mental health and/or addiction problems. The job description provided in this article may not be appropriate for all settings, but it will contribute to a better understanding of the peer support worker position, the skills required, and the types of expectations that could define successful fulfillment of the role.
    BMC Health Services Research 07/2012; 12(1):205. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-12-205 · 1.71 Impact Factor
    • "Additionally, published testimonies from those with the lived experience of mental health recovery have provided much of the rich, qualitative data needed for the research community to begin engaging in efforts to operationally define the concept or construct of recovery and to explore what facilitates or indeed hinders the recovery journey (Davidson et al. 2005). Peer support has been recognised and evidenced as a key facilitator of mental health recovery over the last two decades (Corrigan et al. 2005). It has been defined as the notion of reciprocity in giving and receiving support based on the key principles of respect, responsibility and shared experience (Mead et al. 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Peer support facilitates recovery. However, little is known about the role of peer support within the Clubhouse model. This article reports on Clubhouse members' experiences of peer support and the outcomes they identify from engaging in this phenomenon. Grounded theory guided the study design involving 17 semi-structured interviews conducted with 10 Clubhouse members. Constant comparison and open coding were undertaken to identify underlying concepts within transcripts. A conceptual model of peer support was derived from Clubhouse members' experience. Four levels of peer support emerged: Social inclusion and belonging; shared achievement through doing; interdependency; and at the deepest level, intimacy. Peer support within Clubhouse is a multi-layered construct in terms of depth and nature of relationships. Clubhouse appears to contribute a unique tier within the layered construct of peer support. This tier is based on the sharing of achievement through working together on shared tasks within the work-ordered day Clubhouse structure.
    Community Mental Health Journal 10/2010; 48(2):153-60. DOI:10.1007/s10597-010-9358-5 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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