Interviews with 80 therapists and 50 patients at a community mental
health center revealed that peer review effectively monitored the
appropriateness of treatment and allocated limited treatment funds without
unduly interfering with established treatment patterns, relationships, or
outcomes. Most therapists reported receiving helpful consultation from the
peer review committee, and the process encouraged them to focus more
clearly on treatment goals. On the other hand, patients were concerned
about the committee's role in making decisions about their treatment.
Therapists noted as a problem the lack of certainty in establishing a
treatment contract prior to peer review since the contract with the patient
must remain fluid during the evaluation period. The therapists and patients
demonstrated remarkable agreement in their assessment of treatment progress
and whether further therapy was needed.