Background: Assertive community treatment (ACT) is an evidence-based practice that provides intensive, in vivo services for adults with severe mental illness. Some ACT and intensive case management teams have integrated consumers as team members with varying results.
Methods: The authors reviewed the literature examining the outcomes of having consumer providers on case management teams, with attention devoted to randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Results: Sixteen published studies were identified, including eight RCTs. Findings were mixed, with evidence supporting consumer-provided services for improving engagement and limited support for reduced hospitalizations. However, evidence was lacking for other outcomes areas such as symptom reduction or improved quality of life.
Conclusion: Including a consumer provider on an ACT team could enhance the outreach mechanisms of ACT, using a more recovery-focused approach to bring consumers into services and help engage them over time. More rigorous research is needed to further evaluate integrating consumer providers on teams.