Center on Psychiatric Disability and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions

Research Projects /
Randomized Controlled Trial of a Peer-Led Health Intervention

This study is a randomized controlled trial of the efficacy of an intervention designed to enhance wellness and physical health called Whole Health Action Management (WHAM). The intervention is delivered by people in recovery who have been trained and certified to provide peer support, called Certified Peer Specialists (CPS). The project is a collaboration with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network; Appalachian Consulting Group, Inc., and mental health programs in Georgia and Illinois.

With their informed consent, 100 people in mental health recovery are being randomly assigned to either WHAM or services as usual. WHAM participants meet weekly in individual sessions with CPSs, to pursue whole health goals and also participate in whole health support groups. Research participants are recruited from community mental health centers in Chicago, IL and Atlanta, GA.

Data collection occurs at three time points: study baseline, 3-months, and 6-months post-baseline. The primary outcome is self-reported improvement in physical and mental health symptoms. Secondary outcomes include health-related quality of life; decreased stress levels; and greater awareness and use of positive health habits. Also assessed is satisfaction with the intervention, and fidelity to the model is monitored throughout the study.

Participation in the interventions and the research is completely voluntary and individuals can withdraw from the study or WHAM at any time without negative consequences. All research participants are compensated for their interview time, and receive travel stipends to facilitate their attendance.


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