Which Homeless Veterans Benefit From a Peer Mentor and How?

Which Homeless Veterans Benefit From a Peer Mentor and How?

Abstract


Objective

Veterans Affairs (VA) is expanding peer support. Research is limited on Veterans’ perspective on benefits from peer services. We describe homeless Veteran perceptions of value and examine characteristics associated with benefit.


Method

From a sample of Veterans in a multisite randomized control trial, we studied addition of peers in VA Primary Care and homeless-oriented primary care clinics. We used qualitative methods to study the perceptions of peer services among a subsample of homeless Veterans. Quantitative methods were used to validate findings in both samples.


Results

Sixty-five percent of the subsample and 83% of the full sample benefited from a peer mentor. Participants who benefited had more peer visits and minutes of intervention (p<.05), were more likely to be minority, and were less likely to have posttraumatic stress disorder.


Conclusion

The majority of Veteran participants in this study benefited from receiving peer mentor intervention. African American Veterans were more likely to benefit and Veterans with PTSD were less likely to benefit. Client endorsement of the peer's role influenced outcomes.

JOURNAL: Journal of Clinical Psychology
PAGES: 1-21
PUBLICATION DATE: 2016