Effectiveness of the Veteran X peer-led mental health recovery program: A quasi-experimental study

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Behavioral Sciences and Leadership

Publication Date

Spring 2021

Publication Title

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal

Document Type



Objective: The inclusion of peer-delivered services in organizations providing behavioral health care has significantly increased in recent years, and substantial resources are being directed toward implementing recovery-oriented mental health services using peer-provided programs. Previous research found that participants in such programs have improved recovery outcomes. While there are demonstrated positive associations between recovery outcomes and peer-provided services, there is limited research on the effectiveness of specific peer-provided interventions. Veteran X is a peer-led program developed in the Department of Veterans Affairs in which participants serve as a recovery team for a fictitious Veteran who faces numerous social and mental health issues. This study compared the effectiveness of the Veteran X program with treatment as usual on measures of recovery wellbeing, symptoms and functioning, and risk and protective factors for substance use disorders. Methods: Participants were recruited (N = 80) over a period of ten months, and had self-selected into treatment as usual (TAU, N = 37), or treatment as usual plus Veteran X (N = 43). Results: No baseline differences were found on the pretest measures. Both groups improved on all measures after 60 days of participation, however Veteran X participants improved significantly more than TAU participants on the measures of recovery wellbeing and symptoms and functioning. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: The results of this study appear to support the positive contribution of the Veteran X program in improving recovery wellbeing and symptoms and functioning among participating veterans. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

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