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Peer-mentorship is an important accompaniment to occupational therapy practice, integrating lived expertise of practical and social-emotional knowledge. However, there is a paucity of research on peer-mentorship among individuals with lower-limb loss living in small communities. The objective of this study was to identify the impact of peer-mentorship during the amputation process and the adjustment to life afterward within small communities.
Small communities through use of telephone and video conferencing.
Study participants (n=8) were 19 years of age or older with lower-limb loss who lived in a small community and had experience as either a peer-mentor, or mentee.
Peer-mentorship program for people with lower-limb loss.
Main Outcome Measures
Participants completed a 60-90 minute one-on-one semi-structured interview. Data was transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically.
Our analysis identified the following themes: (i) “satisfying an unmet need” explores the desire for individuals to learn from others who have similar experiences living with lower-limb loss; (ii) “improving independence” describes the unique guidance offered by peer-mentors for returning to daily activities and building self-efficacy; (iii) “friendship” examines peer-mentors’ unique therapeutic delivery and how it provided long-lasting accessible guidance in small communities, and (iv) “advocating for supports and resources” examines how peer-mentors fulfilled support roles to navigate healthcare and community services.
This study demonstrates the role peer-mentorship has toward improving recovery outcomes and social enablement during adjustment to lower-limb loss. Occupational therapists may consider collaborating with peer mentors for person-centered initiatives following lower limb loss in small communities.
No conflict of interests to declare.
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