Pathways to recovery (PTR): impact of peer-led group participation on mental health recovery outcomes.

Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2010 Summer;34(1):42-8.


University of Kansas-Social Welfare, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA.



This study examined the positive effects on recovery outcomes for people with severe and persistent mental illness using peer-led groups based on Pathways to Recovery: A Strengths Recovery Self-Help Workbook (PTR). PTR translates the evidence-supported practice of the Strengths Model into a self-help approach, allowing users to identify and pursue life goals based on personal and environmental strengths.


A single-group pretest-posttest research design was applied. Forty-seven members in 6 consumer-run organizations in one Midwestern state participated in a PTR peer-led group, completing a baseline survey before the group and again at the completion of the 12-week sessions. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the General Self-Efficacy Scale, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Spirituality Index of Well-Being, and the Modified Colorado Symptom Index were employed as recovery outcomes. Paired Hotelling’s T-square test was conducted to examine the mean differences of recovery outcomes between the baseline and the completion of the group.


Findings revealed statistically significant improvements for PTR participants in self-esteem, self-efficacy, social support, spiritual well-being, and psychiatric symptoms.


This initial research is promising for establishing PTR as an important tool for facilitating recovery using a peer-led group format. The provision of peer-led service has been emphasized as critical to integrating consumers’ perspectives in recovery-based mental health services. Given the current federal funding stream for peer services, continued research into PTR and other peer-led services becomes more important.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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