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.


This study examined the effectiveness of the Building Recovery of Individual Dreams and Goals (BRIDGES) peer-led education intervention in empowering mental health consumers to become better advocates for their own care. A total of 428 adults with mental illness were randomly assigned to BRIDGES (intervention condition) or a services as usual wait list (control condition). Interviews were conducted at enrollment, at the end of the intervention, and 6-months post-intervention. Random regression results indicate that, compared to controls, BRIDGES participants experienced significant increases in overall empowerment, empowerment-self-esteem, and self-advocacy-assertiveness, and maintained these improved outcomes over time. Peer-led education interventions may provide participants with the information, skills and support they need to become more actively involved in the treatment decision-making process.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Community Participation
  • Dreams
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological / methods
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Patient Advocacy*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Peer Group*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Concept
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tennessee
  • Young Adult