Randomized trial of a brief peer support intervention for individuals with schizophrenia transitioning from hospital to community

Sean A. Kidd, Christina Mutschler, Sidney Lichtenstein, Sandra Yan, Gursharan Virdee, Fionna Blair, George Mihalakakos, Chris McKinney, April Collins, Tim Guimond, Tony P. George, Larry Davidson, Dawn Velligan, Aristotle Voineskos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This phase 2 randomized trial examined the outcomes of a brief, transitional, peer support intervention designed to address the poor outcomes that are common for individuals with schizophrenia spectrum illnesses in the period immediately following hospitalization. In the context of treatment-as-usual, participants were provided with a peer support intervention, ‘the Welcome Basket,’ in which participants received 1–2 sessions of peer support in the two weeks before discharge and met weekly for a month post-discharge. The study also piloted a brief version of this intervention with only one community session post-discharge with the same pre-discharge process. It was hypothesized that the full intervention would improve community transition outcomes, with community functioning (Multnomah Community Ability Scale) being the primary measure and secondary measures including symptomatology, community integration, personal recovery, quality of life, and social support. The examination of the brief intervention was exploratory. Measures were completed at baseline, 1-month post-discharge, and follow-up at 6 months. A total of 110 participants were randomized to one of three interventions, with outcome data obtained from 82 and follow-up from 74. While feasible, we did not find that the Welcome Basket intervention was superior to treatment as usual for any of our primary or secondary outcome measures. Future work is needed to determine whether a more extended intervention is required and whether specific subgroups of patients may benefit (e.g. those without access to immediate psychiatric care or those better able to engage with a peer).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-220
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia research
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Community
  • Inpatient
  • Peer support
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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