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Predictors of engagement with peer support: analysis of data from a randomised controlled trial of one-to-one peer support for discharge from inpatient psychiatric care.

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Sarah White, Rahul Bhattacharya, Stephen Bremner, Alison Faulkner, Rhiannon Foster, Sarah Louise Gibson, Lucy Pollyanna Goldsmith, Daniella Harnett, Akshaykumar Patel, Stefan Priebe, Julie Repper, Miles Rinaldi, Anthony Salla, Alan Simpson, Michael Ussher, Steve Gillard

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages10
JournalThe International journal of social psychiatry
Accepted/In press12 Dec 2022
Published16 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Programme Grants for Applied Research funding programme (grant number RP-PG-1212-20019). This paper presents independent research funded by NIHR. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the UK National Health Service (NHS), the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2023.

King's Authors


Background: A range of evidence for the effectiveness of one-to-one peer support in mental health services is emerging. Levels of engagement with peer support vary with limited studies showing few individual participant characteristics predicting engagement. Implementation factors that might predict engagement have not been considered. Methods: Data were analysed from the intervention arm of the ENRICH trial of one-to-one peer support for discharge from acute psychiatric inpatient care. Two outcomes were considered: (1) a measure of ‘engaged with peer worker’; (2) number of face-to-face contacts with peer worker post-discharge. Two sets of independent variables were analysed against each outcome: (1) pre-randomisation participant characteristics; (2) implementation factors measured pre-discharge. Analyses used logistic and zero-inflated negative binomial regression models according to outcome structure. Results: Data were analysed for 265 participants randomised to peer support who had a known peer worker. Non-heterosexual participants had increased odds of engaging with peer support compared to heterosexual participants, OR = 4.38 (95% CI: 1.13, 16.9, p =.032). Longer duration of first contact with peer worker (OR = 1.03, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.04, p <.001) and more relationship building activities in the first contact (OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.85, p =.004) were associated with greater odds of engaging with peer support. Analysis of number of contacts post-discharge showed consistent findings. Conclusions: Implementation of peer support should include a focus on relationship building in the first session of peer support. The potential for peer support to break down barriers to accessing mental health services experienced by people from marginalised communities warrants further investigation.

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