Peer and non-peer academic scientists and peer support specialist community of practice: stakeholder engagement to advance the science of peer support Journal Article uri icon


  • Community of Practice, a community-engagement method that encourages a group of people to interact regularly towards a common goal, may promote satisfying experiences in patient-outcomes research among marginalized populations. Peer support specialists are increasingly being involved in peer-informed mental health research due to their lived experiences of mental illness and are an asset in co-designing healthcare programs along with researchers. In 2015, ten scientists and ten mental health service users joined as a Community of Practice that trained to engage in patient-centered outcomes research. The group has so far has presented at 20 conferences, published three book chapters and 30 peer-reviewed publications, and developed two smartphone applications. Of note are the co-production of a smartphone application, a digital peer support certification program, an app decision support tool, and an instrument to assess the value of patient-research partnerships. Future research will assess the feasibility of incorporating more stakeholders to enhance research outcomes.

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publication date

  • 2021