OutNav Logo

Please note that OutNav LiveReports are not designed for mobile or small tablet screens.

Please use a larger screen such as that of a work computer in order to view this report - this will allow the content to be displayed in an effective and meaningful way.

ImROC Peer Support Training Evaluation - a Scoping Review of Wider Evidence


Date produced • 20/02/2023
Date expires • 21/05/2024

This report was generated by OutNav using the theory-based approach to evaluation pioneered by Matter of Focus.

1. Background

About This Work

A brief desk-based review of wider evidence and experience of Peer Support Worker training was completed prior to data collection for the ImROC peer support worker training evaluation to both inform the approach we take to the evaluation and provide useful contextual information.

The key questions the scoping review aimed to answer were as follows:

  • How do people experience peer support worker training?
  • What are the effects of peer support worker training? 
  • How does the training impact on their future practice as a peer support worker? 
  • What outcomes have been measured as a result of peer support training evaluations?

This review was completed by Dr Audrey Buelo with support from Dr Simon Bradstreet for Matter of Focus.

Methodological Approach

This scoping review was a very pragmatic, condensed version of more traditional systematic review methods. To search for relevant papers that answered one or more of the research questions above, a search in Google and Google Scholar was carried out using terms such as "peer support worker training evaluation", "experiences of peer support worker training" and similar evaluations. The ImROC evaluation steering group were also asked for literature recommendations. We were open to grey literature but mainly primary research was found. The first 5 to 10 pages of Google and Google Scholar were hand-searched by title and abstract. Potentially relevant references were downloaded into Mendeley and then a more detailed review of relevance took place. Reference lists of included papers were also searched.

Data extraction took place in OutNav. Outcomes (mainly in the results section of the included papers) were added into the appropriate Matter of Focus headers as stepping stones. For example, if a paper did a qualitative evaluation of the training and people spoke about feeling more confident as a result of the training, 'Increased confidence' was added into the 'How they feel' header as a stepping stone. Each paper's specific training programme was added into the 'What we do' header.

ImROC Peer Support Training Evaluation - a Scoping Review of Wider Evidence

2. Our outcome map

What we do

EX-IN training [Hegedues 2016 & 2021]

Recovery Innovations [Gerry 2011]

PSW Training [Alan 2014]

Peer Work Project [Franke 2010]

ENRICH [Gillard 2022]

Training program [Meehan 2002]

Warmline training [Tse 2014]

META Peer Support Training [Hutchinson 2006]

ImROC training [Watson 2016]

Queensland training [Sanchez-Moscona 2021]

Who with

Training team


Wider organisations (employing trainees)

How they feel

Hopeful and more positive

Empowered - my illness is actually a strength or asset

I feel prepared to support others in this role

I feel proud of myself

I believe in myself

This training is useful

Trainees feel positively about the trainers

I feel less shame and self-doubt

What they learn and gain


Increased self-efficacy

Increased stigma resistance

Increased confidence

New skills to apply to own mental distress

Feel prepared to handle workplace culture

The importance of boundaries in building relationships

Learn and apply key PSW values to role

What they do differently

More personal recovery

Communicate better (generally)

PSW enter employment (paid or unpaid)

Trainees recommend training to peers

Ask for help when needed

Better illness management skills

What difference does this make?

Improved physical health

Improved mental health

Trainees continue in employment as a PSW or elsewhere

ImROC Peer Support Training Evaluation - a Scoping Review of Wider Evidence

3. Conclusions

This pragmatic method of scoping the evaluation literature on peer support worker training programmes has allowed us to understand how evaluators around the globe have assessed the impact peer support worker training, and key findings from their work. This provided a sense-check for our own evaluation of the ImROC peer support worker training programme, to ensure that our outcome map aligns with what's been developed previously (or if it doesn't align, to be able to explore this and justify it). We found that our outcome map reflected previous evaluation findings.

This process of doing a literature review in OutNav had some useful benefits:

  • We were able to get a snapshot of current research in the field and by creating an outcome map, we could visually display all the findings in a way that's easy to read and understand.
  • By doing a literature review in OutNav, you are able to tailor this process to your needs for the review. Much more detail could be added to each stepping stone in the analysis box, and you could conduct a traffic light analysis based on a synthesis of the findings for each stepping stone.
  • Generally this method could be quite useful for programme evaluation reviews, to see what kinds of things you should consider measuring in your own evaluation of something similar. It could be used in many different fields such as public health interventions, social care programmes and policy evaluation reviews. 

There were also a few limitations to this scoping review and using OutNav:

  •  Time-pressures kept this specific scoping review from being much more detailed. It would have been useful to fill in the analysis box for each stepping stone about statistical significance, quotes and other relevant study details to be able to complete the traffic light rating. 
  • An important point from this review is that these findings are not meant to show what outcomes we expect from any peer support training. This is because each training will have different contexts, delivery, curricula, timing, and so on which will vary the outcomes one can expect from it. The outcome map provides a summary of the types of outcomes measured in the included studies and key things one  will play strongly into what results come out of it. 
  • To be able to look at specific training components leading to specific outcomes, you would need a different and much more rigorous method, such as a realist review or cross-study design (see Thomas & Harden).

Overall, using OutNav as a literature review framework has a lot of potential and ability to personalise it according to your needs.

ImROC Peer Support Training Evaluation - a Scoping Review of Wider Evidence

ImROC Peer Support Training Evaluation - a Scoping Review of Wider Evidence

This report has been created using OutNavTM
developed by Matter of Focus.

OutNav is an innovative online platform that takes teams on a logical,
user-friendly journey to develop and manage a meaningful approach to
outcome-focused monitoring and evaluation.

Date produced: 20/02/2023
Date expires: 21/05/2024

OutNav Logo

This report was generated by OutNav using the theory-based approach to evaluation pioneered by Matter of Focus.