Veterans Affairs (VA) is expanding peer support. Research is limited on Veterans’ perspective on benefits from peer services. This study describes homeless Veteran perceptions of value and examine characteristics associated with benefit. From a sample of Veterans in a multisite randomized control trial, the study examines addition of peers in VA Primary Care and homeless-oriented primary care clinics. We used qualitative methods to study the perceptions of peer services among a subsample of homeless Veterans. Quantitative methods were used to validate findings in both samples.
Sixty-five percent of the subsample and 83% of the full sample benefited from a peer mentor. Participants who benefited had more peer visits and minutes of intervention (p<.05), were more likely to be minority, and were less likely to have posttraumatic stress disorder.
The majority of Veteran participants in this study benefited from receiving peer mentor intervention. African American Veterans were more likely to benefit and Veterans with PTSD were less likely to benefit. Client endorsement of the peer's role influenced outcomes.