To assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of a peer-delivered and technology supported integrated medical and psychiatric self-management intervention for older adults with serious mental illness. Ten older adults with serious mental illness (i.e., schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder) and medical comorbidity (i.e., cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and/or high cholesterol) aged 60 years and older received the PeerTECH intervention in their homes. Three certified peer specialists were trained to deliver PeerTECH. Data were collected at baseline, one-month, and three-month. The pilot study demonstrated that a three-month, peer-delivered and technology-supported integrated medical and psychiatric self-management intervention ("PeerTECH") was experienced by peer specialists and participants as feasible and acceptable. PeerTECH was associated with statistically significant improvements in psychiatric self-management. In addition, pre/post, non-statistically significant improvements were observed in self-efficacy for managing chronic health conditions, hope, quality of life, medical self-management skills, and empowerment. This pre/post pilot study demonstrated it is possible to train peers to use technology to deliver an integrated psychiatric and medical self-management intervention in a home-based setting to older adults with serious mental illness with fidelity. These findings provide preliminary evidence that a peer-delivered and technology-supported intervention designed to improve medical and psychiatric self-management is feasible, acceptable, and is potentially associated with improvements in psychiatric self-management, self-efficacy for managing chronic health conditions, hope, quality of life, medical self-management skills, and empowerment with older adults with serious mental illness and chronic health conditions.
Peer Support Model: