Peer Respites: A Qualitative Assessment of Consumer Experience

  • Elizabeth SiantzEmail author
  • Benjamin Henwood
  • Nicole McGovern
  • Joelle Greene
  • Todd Gilmer
Original Article


This qualitative study explored the experiences of persons staying at two peer respites through interviews with 27 respite guests near the end of their stay and at 2–6 months following their stay. Trained peer interviewers conducted baseline and follow-up interviews. Peer respites can be beneficial spaces within the mental health system for guests to temporarily escape stressful situations while building relationships with other persons with mental illness, though some respondents were uncomfortable receiving services from peers, and several guests did not want to leave after their stay. Ongoing training of peers and orientations for respite guests can help ensure optimal respite experiences.


Qualitative Peer-respite Mental health services 



Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with and the 1964 Helsinki declaration its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.

Research Involving Human Participants

The Institutional Review Board of University of California, San Diego, Human Research Protection Program, and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development approved this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Health Policy, Department of Family Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Harder + Company Community ResearchLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Division of Health Policy, Department of Family Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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