Implementing volunteer peer mentoring as a supplement to professional efforts in primary rehabilitation of persons with spinal cord injury

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STUDY DESIGN: A feasibility study, supplemented by a noncontrolled pretest/posttest.

OBJECTIVES: To examine if a nationwide volunteer peer-mentoring program for in-patients with acute/subacute spinal cord injury is feasible and achievable.

SETTING: The Spinal Cord Injury Center of Western Denmark and Clinic for Spinal Cord Injuries, Rigshospitalet, Denmark.

METHODS: Volunteer mentor groups were formed similarly in two highly specialized SCI centers covering Denmark. Hospital staff was responsible for referral to the mentoring project and for the interdisciplinary evaluation of patient eligibility. At each of the two centers, a person living with the consequences of SCI coordinated the intervention in collaboration with healthcare personnel. Designated project personnel introduced eligible participants to the project. Staff at the SCI centers arranged to fit in the supplementary mentoring with ongoing treatment. A self-report questionnaire was completed prior to and after peer intervention.

OUTCOME: patient reports regarding mentoring sessions, change in quality of life (QoL), depression items from the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), pain frequency and intensity (11-point Numerical Rating Scale).

RESULTS: A nationwide mentor corps was established. Fifty-two eligible in-patients completed the study. Significant improvement in QoL was found after mentoring. Frequency and intensity of pain did not change, although five out of nine depression items improved significantly. A majority (94%) of the participants recommended others to meet with a peer mentor.

CONCLUSIONS: Establishing a nationwide volunteer mentor system at a highly specialized neuro-rehabilitation units for SCI in-patients is both feasible and acceptable.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftSpinal Cord
Vol/bind57
Sider (fra-til)881-889
Antal sider9
ISSN1362-4393
DOI
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2019

    Forskningsområder

  • rygmarvsskade, Mentor program

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