Poster presentation Early career development| Volume 90, ISSUE 10, e19, October 2009

Poster 26: Mentoring Program for Youth Survivors of Acquired Brain Injury

      Objective: To report on a mentor program for adolescents with acquired brain injury (ABI). Design: This is a case study reports on pre-test and post-test measures. Setting: This study was conducted at a community-based health and wellness facility addressing the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social needs of its members. Participants: The mentor is a 26-year-old survivor of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The adolescent is a 14-year-old survivor of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Interventions: The mentor was given a brief training on how to be a mentor. During the 10-week program, the mentor and the adolescent survivor had the option to choose from several group activities in which to attend. The activities were designed to address the long-term needs of ABI survivors. Main Outcome Measures: The following measures were administered to both mentor and adolescent survivor. (1) Wisconsin HHS QOL Index; (2) Youth Quality of Life Instrument; (3) Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-4; and (4) TBI-MPP Retrospective Questionnaire. Results: Quality of life: the adolescent improved in all domains of QOL. The mentor made improvements regarding self-esteem (eg, self-worth) and self-actualization (eg, self-directedness). Level of Functioning (MPAI-4): The adolescent scores on abilities indicated an improvement in cognitive, communication and motor function. Scores on adjustment suggested improvement in areas such as anxiety level, depression, fatigue, and appropriate social interaction. The mentor scores on abilities remained constant indicating no significant change in overall performance function following the program. Adjustment scores did decline, indicating improved mood and interpersonal interaction. Mentor and Adolescent Experience: Both the mentor and the adolescent indicated that they were “very satisfied” with the overall mentor program. Conclusions: Our initial findings indicate that involvement in a 10-week mentor program for adolescents was beneficial to both the adolescent and to the mentor. General findings indicate that psychosocial, sense of self, and overall quality of life was enhanced.

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