The Centre for Innovation in Peer Support (the Centre) is delighted to share with you
version 1.1 of the validated Peer Support Integrity, Quality and Impact Survey,
FREE for Ontario agencies and organizations. It has been developed to help
organizations providing peer support services gain insight into how people
receiving peer services view these supports. Find out how to
access the survey here.
particular, the survey assesses from the perspective of people receiving peer
- The degree
to which peer support services align with the values of peer support (i.e.
- The quality
of service being provided (i.e. service quality)
- The degree
to which individuals believe they are experiencing certain impacts in their
day-to-day lives because of peer support (i.e. service impact)
includes 17 statements that require people to indicate how strongly they agree
or not that the peer support staff with whom they meet behave in ways that
align with the values of peer support as defined by the Mental Health
Commission of Canada.
includes 2 questions to gain insight into how people perceive the quality of
service they receive. The first asks people how they feel about the services
they received prior to getting peer support and the second asks them how they
feel/felt about their meetings with peer support staff. In both instances,
people are given a list of positive and negative emotions and asked to check
off all that reflect their feelings at each point in time.
Based on a
review of the literature, the survey contains 7 statements about possible
impacts on people’s lives to which engaging in peer support might contribute. For
example, the impacts may include being more connected to appropriate supports
and services, decreased need for emergency and crisis services, improved self-care,
and improved experiences with healthcare services.
comprehensive User’s Manual is provided with the survey, which provides
- Who should
complete the survey
- How to
- How many
people should complete the survey and how long should they have to complete it
- How to
create a survey database
- How to
record, code, analyze and clean the data
- And much
was rolled out to 412 people receiving peer support in over 13 different
agencies (including hospital psychiatric inpatient units, addictions
residential treatment, supportive housing programs, central access, employment
support programs, community mental health and addiction providers, and
self-help education and support groups) in over 25 different programs. The
results indicate that values-based peer support is perceived as having an
authentic, positive impact by people receiving that support.
Click here to view the survey results.
indicated that on average people saw receiving peer support as helping to:
- Make their experience
with mental health and addictions services better
- Decrease their
need for emergency and crisis service
- Deal more
effectively with crisis in their lives
their ability for self-care
- Give them more
confidence to tell health providers what they need
- Connect to
appropriate supports and resources
- Be more
hopeful about their lives
As we learn
from the survey and from our experience and the experience of others in
administering and analyzing the data gathered, the team remains open to further
changes and refinements based on the evidence we gather. This is Version 1.1
and Version 1.2 will probably not be far behind.
the Centre’s processes
We at the
Centre have evolved our processes due to the survey. Our quality improvement
efforts have included:
training for peer support workers to assist them in aligning their work with
the values of peer support when they are embedded into other
organizations/hospitals that are not “peer lead”
our Communities of Practice for peer support workers to provide ongoing support
to mentor, problem solve and help peers avoid “peer drift” into clinical roles
supervisors of peers can effectively supervise to ensure the integrity of peer
training for organizational leaders, directors, board members and supervisors
so leadership can know what peer support is and what it is not, and how to
organizationally support their peer support workers
- Developing a
more specialized “support system” for hospitals. We are finding thus far that
the biggest issues with maintaining service integrity are within hospitals and that
they need more support to understand and ensure alignment of peer support to
the values of peer support. The peer support workers embedded on wards may too often
struggle with peer drift and the medical/clinical “bias” to care provision.
build a worldwide database
can be an important tool for evaluating service quality and undertaking quality
improvement processes in relation to peer support services.
is now beginning to share the survey provincially, nationally and
internationally and requesting that results be shared with them in order to
build a worldwide database on the integrity, quality and impact of peer support
firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
thank you to the following individuals who worked on the survey reliability and
Wilson, M.Sc., CPRP; St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Manager, Patient &
Family Collaborative Support Services; Professional Practice Lead - Peer
Support Mental Health and Addiction Program who has worked with the Centre on
reliability testing and other activities involving the administration of the
Strong, PhD; St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Associate Clinical Professor,
School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University is a researcher with a
focus on Qualitative research, Social Programming & Evaluation who helped
the Centre on reliability testing.
Coulombe, PhD.; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of
Science Wilfrid Laurier University, who continues to assist the Centre
with some of the statistical and sampling issues with our research to ensure
Kovalsky, a Master’s student with the School of Social Work at McMaster
University who, in collaboration with our internal research team, managed a
defined portion of the research related to this.
Special thanks to the Excellence through
Quality Improvement Project (E-QIP) for their guidance on quality improvement
and program evaluation.