There's a great deal of research 'out there' on peer-to-peer support.  Unfortunately, some of it is less than ideal because it starts with a hypothesis that doesn't represent full understanding of what peer-to-peer support is intended to be.  It's also worth noting that those that are able to do the research that establishes 'evidence-based' practices are often those with resources, and so many small pockets of greatness are going on that still haven't been recognized.  However, regardless of which study is better than the other or who might be getting overlooked in the research process, there is consensus across the board.  Peer-to-peer support can make a difference.  Below are a number of articles that may be helpful if you are looking for the research that promotes this work.  For some, we have on-line links.  For others, we just have the information for you to use as a guide in looking for articles yourself.  We will add more links as we find them.  (Have an article focused on research/evidence that you think we should add?  E-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

First, here are a few useful tools if you're in a place to want to demonstrate that peer-to-peer support has been widely accepted as an 'evidence-based practice.':

1.  Letter from Medicaid acknowledging that peer support is a 'best practice':

2.  SAMHSA Powerpoint acknowledging that peer support is an 'evidence-based practice0:




    • Bouchard, L., Montreuil, M., Gros, C. (2010). Peer support among inpatients in an adult mental health setting. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 31:589-598. DOI: 10.3109/01612841003793049.


    • Campbell, J., Lichtenstein, C., Teague, G., Banks, S., Sonnefeld J., Johnsen, M., Zempolich, K., & COSP Steering Committee. (2004). Consumer-operated services program (COSP) multi-site research initiative: Overview and preliminary findings. Presentation to Alternatives Conference, October 16, 2004.






    • Clarke GN, Herincks HA, Kinney RF. (2000) Psychiatric hospitalizations, arrests, emergency room visits, and homelessness of clients with serious and persistent mental illness: findings from a randomized trial of two ACT programs vs. usual care. Ment Health Serv Res. 2:155–164.










    • Davidson L, Stayner DA, Chinman MJ. (2000) Preventing relapse and readmission in psychosis: using patients’ subjective experience in designing clinical interventions. In: Martindale B, editor. Outcome studies in psychological treatments of psychotic conditions. London: Gaskell; pp. 134–156.







    • Gillard, S.G., Edwards, C., Gibson, S.L., Owen, K, & Wright, C. (2013). Introducing peer worker roles in UK mental health service teams: A qualitative analysis of the organizational benefits and challenges. BMC Health Services Research, 13 (188). DOI:


    • Greenfield, T.K., Stoneking, B.C., Humphreys, K., Sundby, E., & Bond, J. (2008). A randomized trial of mental health consumer-managed alternatives to civil commitment for acute psychiatric crisis. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41(1):135-144.


    • Kyrouz, E. M., Humphreys, K., and Loomis, C. (2002). A review of research on the effectiveness of self-help mutual aid groups. In B.J. White and E.J. Madera (Eds.). American self-help clearinghouse self-help sourcebook. 7th ed., 71-85. Cedar Knolls, NJ; American Self-Help Group Clearing House.










    • O’Donnell M, Parker G, Proberts M. (1999). A study of client-focused case management and consumer advocacy: the Community and Consumer Service Project. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 33:684–693.



    • Peer Support 101, Alaska Peer Support Consortium (2011).  Community Ment Health J. 2012 Aug;48(4):420-30. doi: 10.1007/s10597-012-9507-0. Epub 2012 Mar 30.


    • Pfeiffer, P.N., Heisler, M., Piette, J.D., Rogers, M.A.M., & Valenstein, M. (2010). Efficacy of peer support, interventions for depression: A meta-analysis. General Hospital Psychiatry, 33(1), 29-36


    • Picket SA, Diehl SM, Steigman PJ, Prater JD, Fox A, Shipley P, Grey DD, Cook JA, (2013) Consumer Empowerment and Self Advocacy Outcomes in a Randomized Study of Peer-Led Education.  Community Ment Health J. 2012 Aug:48(4):420-30. doi: 10.1007/s10597-012-9507-0.  Epub 2012 Mar 30.









    • Rowe M, Bellamy C, Baranoski M. (2007) Reducing alcohol use, drug use, and criminality among persons with severe mental illness: outcomes of a Group- and Peer-Based Intervention. Psychiatr Serv. 58:955–961.




    • Simpson, A, et al. (2014). Results of a pilot randomized controlled trial to measure the clinical and cost effectiveness of peer support in increasing hope and quality of life in mental health patients discharged from hospital in the UK. BMC Psychiatry, 14(3). Doi:10.1186/1471-244X-14-303.










    • Van Tosh, L. (1993) Working for a change: Employment of consumers/survivors in the design and provision of services for persons who are homeless and mentally disabled. Rockville, MD, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.