The questions we ask – differences between the peer and allied health workforces
Wyder, M., Roennfeldt, H., Kisely, S., Ehrlich, C., Lau, G., Vilic, G., Crompton, D. & Dark, F.
Background: While there have been increased calls for mental health consumers to be involved in mental health services research, there is limited research exploring the research interests of this group.
Aims: To compare the interests in different research topics of a peer workforce (people who are employed to use their lived experience of mental illness and recovery to support others) with those of Allied Health Professionals in a Hospital and Health Service.
Method: A survey asking participants to rate their interest in researching various topics was distributed to the peer and allied health workforce. Differences between the two groups were tested with the Kruskal–Wallis test for independent samples.
Results: The peer workforce consistently rated their interest in all questions as greater than the Allied Health Workforce with five of the seven questions showing statistically significant differences. The median ratings of interest for four of the seven topics were high for both the peer and allied health. These were primarily items on how to help. The peer workforce also expressed a greater interest in being involved in the research.
Conclusions: Our study emphasises the importance of creating opportunities for including the peer workforce in all aspects of the research process.