Doctor of Philosophy
Social and Behavioral Health
Background: Peer-to-peer (P2P) support programs have the potential to assist ESRD patients in managing their disease and improve outcomes. Yet, there is little research examining P2P programs’ impact on psychosocial outcomes and disease management behaviors.
Methods: A 4-month P2P mentoring intervention was designed and piloted in a facility serving 249 in-center hemodialysis patients in Lynchburg, Virginia. Preceded by a social marketing effort, which included a program naming contest and participant recruitment, the intervention included: (1) mentor training, (2) pairing of mentees and mentors, (3) kick-off social mixers, (4) ongoing meetings between mentees and mentors, (5) mentor training booster, and (6) a final celebration.
A single arm quasi-experimental study with repeated measurements at three time points was used with data collection over four months. The hypotheses that the intervention would result in improvements for both mentees and mentors (i.e., self-efficacy, knowledge, perceived social support, dialysis social support (i.e., support from peers within the dialysis setting), and self-management behaviors) were tested using repeated measures ANOVA or the Friedman’s test for nonparametric data.
Results: Mentees experienced increases in self-efficacy, F(2,22)=8.15, p<.01; knowledge, F(2,44)=6.62, p<.01; perceived social support, F(2,22)=7.30, p<.01; and dialysis social support, F(2,44)=4.79, p=.01. Mentors experienced increases in knowledge, F(2,22)=11.88, p<.01; dialysis social support, F(2,42)=3.19, p=.05; and dialysis self-management, χ2(2) = 7.65, p =.02.
Conclusion: A P2P mentoring program for in-center hemodialysis patients can be beneficial for both mentees and mentors. Future research should focus on larger groups of patients using more rigorous research designs.
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