Evaluation of an Enhanced Peer Mentor Program for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury




Callender, Librada
Holden, Alexandria
Ochoa, Christa
Froehlich-Grobe, Katherine


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Purpose: People with new spinal cord injuries (SCIs) encounter challenges in making lifestyle adjustments. Peer interventions have been effective in helping individuals with SCI. The peer mentor program at Baylor Scott and White Institute for Rehabilitation offers a structured support relationship extending beyond inpatient rehabilitation stay. Patient and clinical perspectives inform efforts for improvement and sustainability. Methods: The evaluation includes questionnaires completed by mentees and inpatient rehabilitation staff. Measured outcomes of the impact and quality of peer intervention for mentees include satisfaction of program before and after discharge (Peer Mentor Assessment), perceived self-efficacy (General Self Efficacy Scale), perceived resilience (Spinal Cord Injury - Quality of Life Resilience), environmental barriers (Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors), social participation (Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique), and health care service use (Cornell Service Index). Staff evaluations are categorized into four domains: patient knowledge, patient psychosocial factors, patient compliance, satisfaction and integration of peer intervention into treatment. Results: Evaluation of peer intervention is ongoing. Key findings for interim results are available. A total of 61 mentees completed pre-discharge assessments and 26 mentees completed three-month post-discharge assessments. Overall, mentees reported satisfaction with regular meetings, discussion topics, and match with peer mentors. All mentees identified at least one perceived problem in measured outcomes. Staff reported satisfaction across all domains. However, some staff members raised concerns about scheduling conflicts and misinformation. Conclusions: Using peer mentors as role models for patients with SCIs may help with social participation, general self-efficacy, and adjustment to disability.