Common Ingredients as a Fidelity Measure for Peer-Run Programs

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Book Chapter

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fidelity measure, common ingredients, consumer-operated services programs, multi-site research initiative, peer-run programs, traditional mental health services, severe mental illness


The Consumer-Operated Services Program (COSP) Multi-Site Research Initiative (MRI) was a large study funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from 1998 to 2002. The COSP MRI studied consumer-operated services programs in eight distinct settings across the country over the course of four years. The major study question involved the comparison of two sets of interventions for persons with severe mental illness. In one condition, consumer-operated services were studied as an adjunct to traditional mental health services; in another condition they were compared to traditional mental health services alone. Chapters 3-10 describe the program at each COSP site in narrative, qualitative format. This chapter outlines additional methods used to describe the COSPs participating in the study more formally and scientifically. This approach helped us analyze study data objectively and to spell out the elements of the COSPs for those who might be interested in adopting peer-run programs in their communities. Using both of the approaches in this book to describe the COSPs provides a fuller picture of what actually takes place in these programs than would either approach alone.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Common Ingredients as a Fidelity Measure for Peer-Run Programs, in S. Clay, B. Schell, P. W. Corrigan & R. O. Ralph (Eds.), On Our Own, Together: Peer Programs for People with Mental Illness, Vanderbuilt University Press, p. 213-238