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Effectiveness of a Digital Peer Support Training Program Designed for Rapid Uptake Among Peer Support Specialists Pilot Study

Psychiatr Q. 2022 Jun 16. doi: 10.1007/s11126-022-09984-5. Online ahead of print.


Peer telemental health recently became Medicaid reimbursable during the COVID-19 crisis, increasing the need for standardized training on digital peer support (DPS) services. DPS has the potential to reduce barriers to services and expand the reach of peer support specialists. The 4-h Digital Peer Support Training program was developed to train peer support specialists for rapid uptake in providing digital peer support during the COVID-19 crisis. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the 4-h DPS course for peer support specialists. Surveys were administered to examine pre-post changes in DPS course for participants (N = 75) related to attitudes/ beliefs towards DPS, ability to use/ engage in DPS, and organizational readiness to implement DPS. Data were analyzed by conducting paired samples t-tests. Linear mixed models were used to explore significant results further. Statistically significant (< .05) changes were observed related to readiness to use DPS, attitudes/ beliefs towards DPS, and ability to use/ engage in DPS. The 4-h DPS course may be beneficial in providing diverse groups of peer support specialists with a standardized training framework. Widespread dissemination of the DPS short course may be beneficial in rapidly equipping peer support specialists with the skills and resources needed to expand the reach of peer support services during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

PMID:35708827 | DOI:10.1007/s11126-022-09984-5

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