Determine whether participating in peer mentorship is related to differences in reported use of coping strategies (acceptance of injury and fighting spirit) for adults with spinal cord injury.
A static group comparison design was used to retrospectively compare mentees (n = 68) and non-mentees (n = 63) on their reported coping strategies. Moderation analyses examined differences on coping strategies, while controlling for years since injury (significant covariate).
A significant interaction was found between years since injury and peer mentorship for acceptance of injury and fighting spirit, where mentees living with their injury for longer (~30 years) reported more use of the acceptance of injury and fighting spirit coping strategies.
Peer mentorship programs could serve as a means for promoting positive coping strategies for adults with SCI. To better understand the role of peer mentorship, follow-up studies using more rigorous research methodologies such as cohort or randomized controlled trial study designs should be conducted.
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A priori power analyses suggested that in order to detect a moderate-large difference in reported coping strategies between the mentees and non-mentees with an alpha of 0.05 and a power of 0.80, at least 45 adults with SCI were required for both the mentee and non-mentee groups.
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We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the social integration team of Moelle Epiniere et Motricite Quebec who provided insight across all phases of the study. We also thank Jessica Conti and Keryn Chemtob for helping with recruitment. This study was approved by our institution’s research and ethics board and was fully compliant with their guidelines.
This study was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant no. SSHRC 430-2014-00168). Author S. Sweet was a Research Scholar (Junior 1) through the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé.
SNS was the supervising author on this project and responsible for conceptualizing the project, overseeing data collection, providing input on data analyses, and providing comments on the manuscript. MAR was responsible for conducting the analyses, writing the manuscript, and integrating feedback to the manuscript. WZ was responsible for assisting with the data collection and providing comments on drafts of this manuscript.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.