Studies that examine and evaluate the impact of peer run hospital diversion programs on consumers who experience an acute psychiatric episode, is lacking in the mental health treatment literature. To date no published studies have compared the impact of peer run hospital diversion and traditional acute hospital services on consumers'recovery and long term quality of life.
A convenience sample of mental health consumers were surveyed to compare attitudes about services, care, and treatment they recieved at a peer-rin diversion program and inpatient acute psychiatric hospital. Respondents were asked to rate the quality and type of services they recieved, discuss the impact of these services on their recovery, and life satisfaction. The Quality of Life Index (QAL) and additional measures ,developed by the researchers with comsumer input,were used.
Peer run programs that serve as an alternative to traditional acute hospital programs are rare in the U.S. The results of this discriptive field study provide a greater understanding of consumers'perception of effective treatment, provide a valid assessment of qualities unique to comsumer run programs, and explicate factors that enhance recovery and life satisfaction.
Recommendations to those who participate, provide or plan on providing comsumer run hospital diversion services, practitioners and policymakers focused on the consumers' voice in program planning and immplementation will be made.