Peer Supports for Tobacco Cessation for Adults with Serious Mental Illness: A Review of the Literature
Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Smoking Cessation; Tobacco Use Cessation; Mentally Ill Persons; Peer Group; Social Support
Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology
OBJECTIVE: A relatively new approach to addressing tobacco use in mental health settings is the involvement of consumers or peers, defined as other individuals with mental health conditions, as service providers. This review examines the literature describing peer delivered supports for tobacco cessation for adults with serious mental illness.
METHODS: The authors conducted a review of online databases to identify reports of tobacco cessation interventions in which peers play a key role in the provision of services to help other adults with serious mental illness to reduce or quit using tobacco.
RESULTS: Our review yielded reports of four tobacco cessation interventions for persons with serious mental illness that include peer providers. The roles of peers in these interventions include that of co-leaders of an educational smoking cessation group, individual counselors as part of a multi-faceted tobacco treatment program, and as outreach tobacco cessation advocates.
CONCLUSIONS: The roles of peers in these interventions are promising; however, more detail about the selection and experience of the peer providers, as well as the services they deliver in tobacco cessation interventions, would be helpful. In addition, rigorous research is needed to evaluate the impact of peer providers on reducing tobacco use in this population.