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Experts by experience: peer support and its use with the homeless

Experts by experience: peer support and its use with the homeless
Experts by experience: peer support and its use with the homeless
The homeless population has complex needs. Peers with experience of homelessness offer unique perspectives in supporting those experiencing homelessness. Peer support fostered and developed by professional organisations, termed intentional peer support (IPS), formalises this process. This review aims to assess the effectiveness of IPS as an intervention with young adults and adult homeless persons (including streetdwelling and those within services). PyscINFO, Web of Science, MEDLINE, and CINAHL were searched, resulting in ten studies, involving 1,829 participants. Peer support has significant impacts on quality of life, drug/alcohol use, and social support. Common elements of peer support are identified, suggesting possible processes that underlie effective peer support. Shared experiences, role modelling, and social support are suggested to be vital aspects of peer support and moderate changes in homeless clients. One study was deemed to have moderate/high quality; the remaining studies had low and moderate quality. Limitations of each are discussed.
0010-3853
598-612
Barker, Stephanie
c13c8f44-ca6f-497d-8eca-006707beeddf
Maguire, Nick
ebc88e0a-3c1e-4b3a-88ac-e1dad740011b
Barker, Stephanie
c13c8f44-ca6f-497d-8eca-006707beeddf
Maguire, Nick
ebc88e0a-3c1e-4b3a-88ac-e1dad740011b

Barker, Stephanie and Maguire, Nick (2017) Experts by experience: peer support and its use with the homeless. Community Mental Health Journal, 53 (5), 598-612. (doi:10.1007/s10597-017-0102-2).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The homeless population has complex needs. Peers with experience of homelessness offer unique perspectives in supporting those experiencing homelessness. Peer support fostered and developed by professional organisations, termed intentional peer support (IPS), formalises this process. This review aims to assess the effectiveness of IPS as an intervention with young adults and adult homeless persons (including streetdwelling and those within services). PyscINFO, Web of Science, MEDLINE, and CINAHL were searched, resulting in ten studies, involving 1,829 participants. Peer support has significant impacts on quality of life, drug/alcohol use, and social support. Common elements of peer support are identified, suggesting possible processes that underlie effective peer support. Shared experiences, role modelling, and social support are suggested to be vital aspects of peer support and moderate changes in homeless clients. One study was deemed to have moderate/high quality; the remaining studies had low and moderate quality. Limitations of each are discussed.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 24 January 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 February 2017
Published date: July 2017
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 405780
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/405780
ISSN: 0010-3853
PURE UUID: b514560b-1e0e-4f54-973d-1b7404054814
ORCID for Stephanie Barker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2886-4113
ORCID for Nick Maguire: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4295-8068

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Feb 2017 00:20
Last modified: 20 Mar 2019 01:24

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