Clinical Trial to Evaluate One-to-one Peer Mentoring

2014-11-14 03:38:22 | BioPortfolio


The research will examine the effects of enhanced peer mentor interactions on facilitating a successful transition to community living following traumatic spinal cord injury. Participants in the research will be assigned to either (1) the control group that will receive traditional peer mentor types of interactions or (2) to the intervention group that will receive an enhanced peer mentor program called the One-on-One Initiative. Assignment to one of these two groups will occur randomly on admission to Shepherd Center; the only stratifying criteria is injury level - C6 and above vs. C7 and below.


The Peer Support Program is being enhanced by the addition of Shepherd staff mentors and volunteer mentors from the community. The Peer Support Supervisor will recruit volunteer peer mentors who are at least 10 months post injury, live within a 50 mile radius of Shepherd Center, and have developed a successful reintegration into community living (employed, manage a family, student, etc.). Volunteers will participate in Shepherd Center volunteer training and will be paid a stipend of $20 per patient interaction.

Each recruited volunteer mentor, along with Shepherd Center peer mentor employees, will participate in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation peer support mentor training program to become certified mentors and help ensure quality interactions with Shepherd Center patients and understand/practice patient confidentiality awareness. This Foundation provides training on a national level by breaking up the country into eight regions - each with a regional coordinator and training program schedule. The faculty and staff of the University of New Mexico developed and maintain the training and certification program, including the mentor management system. The certification program is a "hybrid" program - a series of on-line modules followed by a one-day on-site session. On-line learning is great for conveying information. It saves time and allows everyone to get that information at their own pace. The one-day training session revisits topics covered in the on-line modules: effective peer mentoring, ethics, communication and resources. It includes breakout groups and group discussions. Benefits of partnering with the Foundation, including providing access to certified peer mentors for patients who live outside the Atlanta area are outlined in the attached document (ReevePeer Partnerships.pdf).

A special training session for Shepherd employees/volunteers is in progress and involves:

1. Part 1: 3-hour on-line course (notification has been sent to potential mentors by CDRF)

2. Part 2: 6-hour face-to-face training meeting at Shepherd Center on March 10, 2014 These training sessions typically are run on a regional basis, so having the program here at Shepherd saves travel expenses and time for the volunteer participants. The PowerPoint used for the March 10 session is attached.

Subjects in the control group will receive the standard peer support provided by Shepherd Center peer mentors currently:

1. Within 5-10 days of admission, the patient is introduced to the peer support team.

2. Patients are seen by peer mentors on a referral basis from therapists, nurses, counselors, or physicians or on request from the patient or family.

3. Patients are made aware of monthly peer support meetings, women's groups and caregiver support groups; participation in these groups is optional for patient and/or family.

4. Patients have access to the SCI Peer Support FaceBook page maintained by the Shepherd Peer Mentors

Subjects in the intervention group (and his/her family) will receive the enhanced One-on-One initiative:

1. Patient is assigned one primary certified peer mentor and 2-3 supplemental mentors to meet individual patient/family needs (if needed). The Peer Support Supervisor will match certified peer mentors with each patient based on characteristics such as age, date of injury, level of injury, cause of injury, marital status, work status before and after injury, interests, leisure activities, and adaptive equipment utilization. Secondary mentors will be used to supplement individual patient/family needs as they arise. For example, if guidance is needed regarding airline travel, a peer mentor who has mastered airline travel will be consulted if the primary peer mentor does not have this experience.

2. Each patient/family will evaluate the interaction with his/her peer mentors weekly. PCORI interviewers may be used to facilitate completion of this evaluation. Evaluations are reviewed within one week post completion to modify support provided if indicated and ensure that patient/family needs are being met.

3. Patients will participate in bi-monthly "Been There Done That" class conducted by groups of peer mentors who will be selected to match characteristics of patients assigned to each class. Each class will be followed by a meeting to interact and answer questions from patients and families in a group setting. These classes and meetings are included in the patients' schedules.

4. Peer mentors will provide and organize social networking opportunities:

a. Mentors will encourage use of networking opportunities on FaceBook (Shepherd SCI peers page), CDRF, SCILife, SPINALpedia, etc.

b. Peer Support Supervisor will maintain e-mail list of current and discharged patients so that questions posed by patients can be posted anonymously and feedback solicited for all. This is especially helpful for sensitive topics which people may not want to be associated with initiating the question.

Evaluation All study patients will be interviewed during the 10th-15th day of their stay at Shepherd Center and asked to complete the 6-item Self Efficacy scale and PHQ-8. This will provide baseline data.

Patients will be contacted again via telephone at 72 hours post discharge and at 30, 90 and 180 days post discharge. At each of these times, they will be asked the 6-item Self Efficacy scale and PHQ-8. Additional interview tools/timeframes include: 30 days - healthcare utilization, satisfaction with care, injury intrusiveness scale; 90 days - healthcare utilization, injury intrusiveness scale; 180 days - healthcare utilization, injury intrusiveness scale, satisfaction with life scale.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care


Injuries, Spinal Cord


one-to-one peer mentoring, general peer support


Enrolling by invitation


Shepherd Center, Atlanta GA

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-11-14T03:38:22-0500

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The effect or sway that a PEER GROUP exerts on the beliefs, value systems and behavior of each member of a group. The social expectations for individuals to conform to peer group influence is known as peer pressure.

Pathologic conditions which feature SPINAL CORD damage or dysfunction, including disorders involving the meninges and perimeningeal spaces surrounding the spinal cord. Traumatic injuries, vascular diseases, infections, and inflammatory/autoimmune processes may affect the spinal cord.

Penetrating and non-penetrating injuries to the spinal cord resulting from traumatic external forces (e.g., WOUNDS, GUNSHOT; WHIPLASH INJURIES; etc.).

The evaluation by experts of the quality and pertinence of research or research proposals of other experts in the same field. Peer review is used by editors in deciding which submissions warrant publication, by granting agencies to determine which proposals should be funded, and by academic institutions in tenure decisions.

An organized procedure carried out by a select committee of professionals in evaluating the performance of other professionals in meeting the standards of their specialty. Review by peers is used by editors in the evaluation of articles and other papers submitted for publication. Peer review is used also in the evaluation of grant applications. It is applied also in evaluating the quality of health care provided to patients.

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