Community-based spinal cord injury (SCI) organizations aim to enhance the lives of the 85,500 Canadians living with SCI.
- A flagship program of these organizations developed toward attaining this goal is SCI peer mentorship.
- We define SCI peer mentorship as: a peer interaction that aims to help individuals who share similar lived experiences adapt and/or thrive.
- In consultation with SCI organizations, it was found that the measures currently used to examine the outcomes of SCI peer mentorship do not capture the intricate and subtle details of these programs.
- SCI organizations have voiced the need to develop a SCI peer mentorship evaluation tool in order to evaluate their programs.
To address this need, a community-university partnership is being developed following the IKT guiding principlesto co-create a SCI peer mentorship evaluation tool and our plans are illustrated in the image below.
- March 23, 2021, our team published a paper entitled "Identifying the outcomes of participating in peer mentorship for adults living with spinal cord injury: a qualitative meta-synthesis" on the Psychology & Health. This study identified 87 positive and negative outcomes of community-based SCI peer mentorship, such as independence, community participation, reduced isolation, and understanding.
For more information, you can also view this video where Dr. Sweet discusses his research on well-being and specifically on spinal cord injury peer mentorship for McGill University’s Institute of Human Development and Well-Being’s video series entitled: Well-Being: What a Concept!