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1.  Peer mentorship teaches social tools for pain self-management: A case study 
Journal of pain management  2013;6(1):61-68.
Pain in children can become chronic and disabling, associated with high degrees of social isolation from schooling absences, physical limitations that prevent participation in social settings, and difficulties forming self-identity. This lack of social support network impairs social coping skills and can lead to worsening pain symptoms.
In this case study, we describe a new program to disrupt the cycle of social isolation and chronic pain by emphasizing social coping skills via peer mentorship. The program aimed to utilize peers who have learned to self-manage their own chronic pain to assist patients with social coping skills to reduce isolation caused by chronic pain conditions.
Study Group
Children and adolescents with chronic pain.
This case describes the experience of a 17 year-old, African American boy with diffuse chronic body pain as a participant (“the mentee”) in the program; his mentor was a 19 year-old girl with chronic pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The mentor received six hours of training and she mentored the patient in 10 weekly sessions.
The mentee connected very well with his mentor through sharing similar pain experiences. He demonstrated improvements in positive affect, sleep, social coping, and perception of bodily pain on a variety of quantitative measures. Qualitative data from interviews also suggested that the mentee learned important social coping skills through peer mentorship.
A peer mentoring approach to chronic pain may help alleviate social isolation in adolescents and result in improvements in a number of associated symptoms.
PMCID: PMC4220682  PMID: 25383136
Children; chronic pain; peer mentorship; social coping
2.  The Development, Implementation, and Assessment of an Innovative Faculty Mentoring Leadership Program 
Effective mentoring is an important component of academic success. Few programs exist to both improve the effectiveness of established mentors and cultivate a multi-specialty mentoring community. In 2008, in response to a faculty survey on mentoring, leaders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital developed the Faculty Mentoring Leadership Program (FMLP) as a peer-learning experience for mid-career and senior faculty physician and scientist mentors to enhance their skills and leadership in mentoring and create a supportive community of mentors. A planning group representing key administrative, educational, clinical, and research mentorship constituencies designed the nine-month course.
Participants met monthly for an hour and a half during lunchtime. Two co-facilitators engaged the diverse group of 16 participants in interactive discussions about cases based on the participants’ experiences. While the co-facilitators discussed with the participants the dyadic mentor-mentee relationship, they specifically emphasized the value of engaging multiple mentors and establishing mentoring networks. In response to post-session and post-course (both immediately and after six months) self-assessments, participants reported substantive gains in their mentoring confidence and effectiveness, experienced a renewed sense of enthusiasm for mentoring, and took initial steps to build a diverse network of mentoring relationships.
In this article, the authors describe the rationale, design, implementation, assessment, and ongoing impact of this innovative faculty mentoring leadership program. They also share lessons learned for other institutions that are contemplating developing a similar faculty mentoring program.
PMCID: PMC3924178  PMID: 23095917
3.  Exploring experiences in peer mentoring as a strategy for capacity building in sexual reproductive health and HIV service integration in Kenya 
The Integra Initiative designed, tested, and adapted protocols for peer mentorship in order to improve service providers’ skills, knowledge, and capacity to provide quality integrated HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. This paper describes providers’ experiences in mentoring as a method of capacity building. Service providers who were skilled in the provision of FP or PNC services were selected to undergo a mentorship training program and to subsequently build the capacity of their peers in SRH-HIV integration.
A qualitative assessment was conducted to assess provider experiences and perceptions about peer mentoring. In-depth interviews were conducted with twelve mentors and twenty-three mentees who were trained in SRH and HIV integration. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and imported to NVivo 9 for analysis. Thematic analysis methods were used to develop a coding framework from the research questions and other emerging themes.
Mentorship was perceived as a feasible and acceptable method of training among mentors and mentees. Both mentors and mentees agreed that the success of peer mentoring largely depended on cordial relationship and consensus to work together to achieve a specific set of skills. Mentees reported improved knowledge, skills, self-confidence, and team work in delivering integrated SRH and HIV services as benefits associated with mentoring. They also associated mentoring with an increase in the range of services available and the number of clients seeking those services. Successful mentorship was conditional upon facility management support, sufficient supplies and commodities, a positive work environment, and mentors selection.
Mentoring was perceived by both mentors and mentees as a sustainable method for capacity building, which increased providers’ ability to offer a wide range of and improved access to integrated SRH and HIV services.
PMCID: PMC3942326  PMID: 24581143
Mentoring; Integration; HIV; Sexual reproductive health; Postnatal care; Family planning
4.  Doctoral training in Uganda: evaluation of mentoring best practices at Makerere university college of health sciences 
Good mentoring is a key variable for determining success in completing a doctoral program. We identified prevailing mentoring practices among doctoral students and their mentors, identified common challenges facing doctoral training, and proposed some solutions to enhance the quality of the doctoral training experience for both candidates and mentors at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS).
This cross-sectional qualitative evaluation was part of the monitoring and evaluation program for doctoral training. All doctoral students and their mentors were invited for a half-day workshop through the MakCHS mailing list. Prevailing doctoral supervision and mentoring guidelines were summarised in a one-hour presentation. Participants were split into two homogenous students’ (mentees’) and mentors’ groups to discuss specific issues using a focus group discussion (FGD) guide, that highlighted four main themes in regard to the doctoral training experience; what was going well, what was not going well, proposed solutions to current challenges and perceived high priority areas for improvement. The two groups came together again and the note-takers from each group presented their data and discussions were recorded by a note-taker.
Twelve out of 36 invited mentors (33%) and 22 out of 40 invited mentees (55%) attended the workshop. Mentors and mentees noted increasing numbers of doctoral students and mentors, which provided opportunities for peer mentorship. Delays in procurement and research regulatory processes subsequently delayed students’ projects. Similarly, mentees mentioned challenges of limited; 1) infrastructure and mentors to support basic science research projects, 2) physical office space for doctoral students and their mentors, 3) skills in budgeting and finance management and 4) communication skills including conflict resolution. As solutions, the team proposed skills’ training, induction courses for doctoral students-mentor teams, and a Frequently Asked Questions’ document, to better inform mentors’, mentees’ expectations and experiences.
Systemic and infrastructural limitations affect the quality of the doctoral training experience at MaKCHS. Clinical and biomedical research infrastructure, in addition to training in research regulatory processes, procurement and finance management, communication skills and information technology, were highlighted as high priority areas for strategic interventions to improve mentoring within doctoral training of clinician scientists.
PMCID: PMC3897930  PMID: 24410984
Mentorship; Doctoral training; Supervision; Capacity building; Health care; Low and middle income countries; Uganda
5.  Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Formal Pharmacist Mentorship Program 
Mentoring is associated with positive professional and personal outcomes. However, there are few published data on mentoring programs for pharmacists.
To develop and evaluate a mentorship program for hospital pharmacists that was implemented at St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, in Hamilton, Ontario, by identifying the benefits and challenges that participants experienced and determining whether the program provided the necessary skills for a successful mentoring relationship.
A descriptive pilot study was performed between June 2007 and November 2008. Focus groups and self-administered questionnaires were conducted at two time points (after 3–4 months and at the end of the study period). The focus groups were conducted separately for mentors and mentees. Data were summarized by predefined categories. Quantitative data from the questionnaires were summarized as medians, minimums, and maximums, and qualitative survey data were transcribed and reviewed.
Three mentors were each paired with a mentee. The mentees identified an average of 4 learning objectives. All of the mentees reported improvements in their self-perceived level of competency and skill within the mentoring relationship and their confidence in their ability to perform the functions of a hospital pharmacist. The job satisfaction of both mentors and mentees improved. Reported challenges were related to scheduling and documentation. Mentors and mentees reported high levels of overall satisfaction with the program, at both of the evaluation time points. Participants spent less than 60 min/week each on mentoring activities.
Both mentors and mentees benefited from the mentoring relationship.
PMCID: PMC3093419  PMID: 22479041
mentoring; professional development; job satisfaction; professional relationship; mentorat; perfectionnement professionnel; satisfaction au travail; relation professionnelle
6.  Peer Mentoring and Financial Incentives to Improve Glucose Control in African American Veterans: A Randomized, Controlled Trial 
Annals of internal medicine  2012;156(6):416-424.
Compared to whites, African Americans have a greater incidence of diabetes, decreased control, and higher rates of micro-vascular complications. A peer mentorship model could be a scalable approach to improving control in this population and reducing disparities in diabetic outcomes.
To determine whether peer mentors or financial incentives are superior to usual care in helping African American Veterans improve their glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels.
A six month randomized controlled trial. ( registration number: NCT01125956)
The Philadelphia VA Medical Center.
African American veterans, age 50-70 years old, with persistently poor diabetes control.
Change in HbA1c at 6 months
118 participants were randomized to one of the three arms. Usual care participants were notified of their starting HbA1c and recommended goals for HbA1c. Those in the peer mentor arm were assigned a peer mentor who formerly had poor glycemic control but now had good control (HbA1c < 7.5%) who was asked to talk with the participant at least once a week. Peer mentors were matched on race, sex, and age. Those in the financial incentive arm could earn $100 by dropping their HbA1c by one point and $200 by dropping it by two points or to a HbA1c of 6.5%.
Mentors and mentees talked the most in the first month (mean calls 4: range 0-30) and dropped to a mean of 2 calls (range 0-10) by the sixth month. HbA1c dropped from 9.9% to 9.8% in the control arm, 9.8% to 8.7% in the peer mentor arm and from 9.5% to 9.1% in the financial incentive arm. Mean change in HbA1c from baseline to 6 months relative to control was −1.07 (95% CI −1.84 to −0.31) in the peer mentor arm and −0.45 (95% CI −1.23 to 0.32) in the financial incentive arm.
The study included only veterans and lasted only 6 months.
Peer mentorship improved glucose control in a cohort of African American Veterans with diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3475415  PMID: 22431674
7.  Exploring mentorship as a strategy to build capacity for knowledge translation research and practice: a scoping systematic review 
Knowledge translation (KT) supports use of evidence in healthcare decision making but is not widely practiced. Mentoring is a promising means of developing KT capacity. The purpose of this scoping systematic review was to identify essential components of mentoring that could be adapted for KT mentorship.
Key social sciences and management databases were searched from January 2002 to December 2011 inclusive. Empirical research in non-healthcare settings that examined mentorship design and impact for improving job-specific knowledge and skill were eligible. Members of the study team independently selected eligible studies, and extracted and summarized data.
Of 2,101 search results, 293 were retrieved and 13 studies were eligible for review. All but one reported improvements in knowledge, skill, or behavior. Mentoring program components included combining preliminary workshop-based training with individual mentoring provided either in person or remotely; training of mentors; and periodic mentoring for at least an hour over a minimum period of six months. Barriers included the need for infrastructure for recruitment, matching, and training; lack of clarity in mentoring goals; and limited satisfaction with mentors and their availability. Findings were analyzed against a conceptual framework of factors that influence mentoring design and impact to identify issues warranting further research.
This study identified key mentoring components that could be adapted for KT mentorship. Overall, few studies were identified. Thus further research should explore whether and how mentoring should be tailored to baseline knowledge or skill and individual KT needs; evaluate newly developed or existing KT mentorship programs based on the factors identified here; and examine whether and how KT mentorship develops KT capacity. The conceptual framework could be used to develop or evaluate KT mentoring programs.
PMCID: PMC4182766  PMID: 25252966
Knowledge translation; Mentorship
8.  A Grounded Theory Study of the Mentoring Process Involved With Undergraduate Athletic Training Students 
Journal of Athletic Training  2004;39(4):344-351.
Objective: To gain insight regarding the mentoring processes involving students enrolled in athletic training education programs and to create a mentoring model.
Design and Setting: We conducted a grounded theory study with students and mentors currently affiliated with 1 of 2 of the athletic training education programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Participants: Sixteen interviews were conducted, 13 with athletic training students and 3 with individuals identified as mentors. The students ranged in age from 20 to 24 years, with an average of 21.6 years. The mentors ranged from 24 to 38 years of age, with an average of 33.3 years. Participants were purposefully selected based on theoretic sampling and availability.
Data Analysis: The transcribed interviews were analyzed using open-, axial-, and selective-coding procedures. Member checks, peer debriefings, and triangulation were used to ensure trustworthiness.
Results: Students who acknowledged having a mentor overwhelmingly identified their clinical instructor in this role. The open-coding procedures produced 3 categories: (1) mentoring prerequisites, (2) interpersonal foundations, and (3) educational dimensions. Mentoring prerequisites included accessibility, approachability, and protégé initiative. Interpersonal foundations involved the mentor and protégé having congruent values, trust, and a personal relationship. The educational dimensions category involved the mentor facilitating knowledge and skill development, encouraging professional perspectives, and individualizing learning. Although a student-certified athletic trainer relationship can be grounded in either interpersonal or educational aspects, the data support the occurrence of an authentic mentoring relationship when the dimensions coalesced.
Conclusions: Potential mentors must not only be accessible but also approachable by a prospective protégé. Mentoring takes initiative on behalf of a student and the mentor. A mentoring relationship is complex and involves the coalescence of both interpersonal and educational aspects of an affiliation. As a professional-socialization tactic, mentoring offers students a way to anticipate the future professional role in a very personal and meaningful way.
PMCID: PMC535527  PMID: 15592607
mentor; protégé; anticipatory socialization; qualitative research
9.  Training Mentors of Clinical and Translational Research Scholars: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
To determine whether a structured mentoring curriculum improves research mentoring skills.
The authors conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) at 16 academic health centers (June 2010 to July 2011). Faculty mentors of trainees who were conducting clinical/translational research ≥50% of the time were eligible. The intervention was an eight-hour, case-based curriculum focused on six mentoring competencies. The primary outcome was the change in mentors’ self-reported pretest to posttest composite scores on the Mentoring Competency Assessment (MCA). Secondary outcomes included changes in the following: mentors’ awareness as measured by their self-reported retrospective change in MCA scores, mentees’ ratings of their mentors’ competency as measured by MCA scores, and mentoring behaviors as reported by mentors and their mentees.
A total of 283 mentor–mentee pairs were enrolled: 144 mentors were randomized to the intervention; 139 to the control condition. Self-reported pre-/posttest change in MCA composite scores was higher for mentors in the intervention group compared with controls (P < .001). Retrospective changes in MCA composite scores between the two groups were even greater, and extended to all six subscale scores (P < .001). More intervention-group mentors reported changes in their mentoring practices than control mentors (P < .001). Mentees working with intervention-group mentors reported larger changes in retrospective MCA pre-/posttest scores (P = .003) and more changes in their mentors’ behavior (P = .002) than those paired with control mentors.
This RCT demonstrates that a competency-based research mentor training program can improve mentors’ skills.
PMCID: PMC4121731  PMID: 24667509
10.  Exploring mentorship as a strategy to build capacity for knowledge translation research and practice: protocol for a qualitative study 
Research funders, educators, investigators and decision makers worldwide have identified the need to improve the quality of health care by building capacity for knowledge translation (KT) research and practice. Peer-based mentorship represents a vehicle to foster KT capacity. The purpose of this exploratory study is to identify mentoring models that could be used to build KT capacity, consult with putative mentee stakeholders to understand their KT mentorship needs and preferences, and generate recommendations for the content and format of KT mentorship strategies or programs, and how they could be tested through future research.
A conceptual framework was derived based on mentoring goals, processes and outcomes identified in the management and social sciences literature, and our research on barriers and facilitators of academic mentorship. These concepts will inform data collection and analysis. To identify useful models by which to design, implement and evaluate KT mentorship, we will review the social sciences, management, and nursing literature from 1990 to current, browse tables of contents of relevant journals, and scan the references of all eligible studies. Eligibility screening and data extraction will be performed independently by two investigators. Semi-structured interviews will be used to collect information about KT needs, views on mentorship as a knowledge sharing strategy, preferred KT mentoring program elements, and perceived barriers from clinician health services researchers representing different disciplines. Qualitative analysis of transcripts will be performed independently by two investigators, who will meet to compare findings and resolve differences through discussion. Data will be shared and discussed with the research team, and their feedback incorporated into final reports.
These findings could be used by universities, research institutes, funding agencies, and professional organizations in Canada and elsewhere to develop, implement, and evaluate mentorship for KT research and practice. This research will establish a theoretical basis upon which we and others can compare the cost-effectiveness of interventions that enhance KT mentorship. If successful, this program of research may increase knowledge about, confidence in, and greater utilization of KT processes, and the quality and quantity of KT research, perhaps ultimately leading to better implementation and adoption of recommended health care services.
PMCID: PMC2738649  PMID: 19691833
11.  One year outcomes of a mentoring scheme for female academics: a pilot study at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:13.
The professional development of under-represented faculty may be enhanced by mentorship, but we understand very little about the mechanisms by which mentoring brings about change. Our study posed the research question, what are the mechanisms by which mentoring may support professional development in under-represented groups?
The study aims to: (i) to pilot a mentoring scheme for female academics; (ii) to compare various health-related and attitudinal measures in mentees at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year into the mentoring relationship and, (iii) to compare pre-mentoring expectations to outcomes at 6 months and 1 year follow-up for mentees and mentors.
Female academic mentees were matched 1:1 or 2:1 with more senior academic mentors. Online surveys were conducted to compare health-related and attitudinal measures and expectations of mentoring at baseline with outcomes at 6 months and 1 year using paired t-tests and McNemar's test for matched cohort data.
N = 46 mentoring pairs, 44 (96%) mentees completed the pre-mentoring survey, 37 (80%) at 6 months and 30 (65%) at 1 year. Job-related well-being (anxiety-contentment), self-esteem and self-efficacy all improved significantly and work-family conflict diminished at 1 year. Highest expectations were career progression (39; 89%), increased confidence (38; 87%), development of networking skills (33; 75%), better time-management (29; 66%) and better work-life balance (28; 64%). For mentees, expectations at baseline were higher than perceived achievements at 6 months or 1 year follow-up.
For mentors (N = 39), 36 (92%) completed the pre-mentoring survey, 32 (82%) at 6 months and 28 (72%) at 1 year. Mentors' highest expectations were of satisfaction in seeing people progress (26; 69%), seeing junior staff develop and grow (19; 53%), helping solve problems (18; 50%), helping women advance their careers (18; 50%) and helping remove career obstacles (13; 36%). Overall, gains at 6 months and 1 year exceeded pre-mentoring expectations.
This uncontrolled pilot study suggests that mentoring can improve aspects of job-related well-being, self-esteem and self-efficacy over 6 months, with further improvements seen after 1 year for female academics. Work-family conflict can also diminish. Despite these gains, mentees' prior expectations were shown to be unrealistically high, but mentors' expectations were exceeded.
PMCID: PMC3094330  PMID: 21473749
12.  Participating in a Community of Learners enhances resident perceptions of learning in an e-mentoring program: proof of concept 
Community learning and e-mentoring, learning methods used in higher education, are not used to any extent in residency education. Yet both have the potential to enhance resident learning and, in the case of community learning, introduce residents to basic lifelong learning skills. We set out to determine whether residents participating in an Internet based e-mentoring program would, with appropriate facilitation, form a community of learners (CoL) and hold regular community meetings. We also determined resident and faculty perceptions of CoL and Internet sessions as effective learning experiences.
A six-month e-mentoring pilot was offered to 10 Radiology residents in the Aga Khan University Postgraduate Medical Education Program in Nairobi, Kenya (AKUHN) with a Professor of Radiology, located at University of Virginia, USA, acting as the e-mentor. Monthly Internet case-based teaching sessions were facilitated by the e-mentor. In addition, residents were coached by a community facilitator to form CoL and collectively work through clinical cases at weekly face-to-face CoL sessions.
Event logs described observed resident activity at CoL sessions; exit survey and interviews were used to elicit perceptions of CoL and Internet sessions as effective learning experiences.
Resident adoption of CoL behaviors was observed, including self-regulation, peer mentoring and collaborative problem solving. Analysis revealed high resident enthusiasm and value for CoL. Surveys and interviews indicated high levels of acceptance of Internet learning experiences, although there was room for improvement in audio-visual transmission technologies. Faculty indicated there was a need for a larger multi-specialty study.
The pilot demonstrated resident acceptance of community building and collaborative learning as valued learning experiences, addressing one barrier to its formal adoption in residency education curricula. It also highlighted the potential of e-mentoring as a means of expanding faculty and teaching materials in residency programs in developing countries.
PMCID: PMC3041783  PMID: 21266070
13.  Peer-to-peer mentoring for individuals with early inflammatory arthritis: feasibility pilot 
BMJ Open  2013;3(3):e002267.
To examine the feasibility and potential benefits of early peer support to improve the health and quality of life of individuals with early inflammatory arthritis (EIA).
Feasibility study using the 2008 Medical Research Council framework as a theoretical basis. A literature review, environmental scan, and interviews with patients, families and healthcare providers guided the development of peer mentor training sessions and a peer-to-peer mentoring programme. Peer mentors were trained and paired with a mentee to receive (face-to-face or telephone) support over 12 weeks.
Two academic teaching hospitals in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Nine pairs consisting of one peer mentor and one mentee were matched based on factors such as age and work status.
Primary outcome measure
Mentee outcomes of disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)/biological treatment use, self-efficacy, self-management, health-related quality of life, anxiety, coping efficacy, social support and disease activity were measured using validated tools. Descriptive statistics and effect sizes were calculated to determine clinically important (>0.3) changes. Peer mentor self-efficacy was assessed using a self-efficacy scale. Interviews conducted with participants examined acceptability and feasibility of procedures and outcome measures, as well as perspectives on the value of peer support for individuals with EIA. Themes were identified through constant comparison.
Mentees experienced improvements in the overall arthritis impact on life, coping efficacy and social support (effect size >0.3). Mentees also perceived emotional, informational, appraisal and instrumental support. Mentors also reported benefits and learnt from mentees’ fortitude and self-management skills. The training was well received by mentors. Their self-efficacy increased significantly after training completion. Participants’ experience of peer support was informed by the unique relationship with their peer. All participants were unequivocal about the need for peer support for individuals with EIA.
The intervention was well received. Training, peer support programme and outcome measures were demonstrated to be feasible with modifications. Early peer support may augment current rheumatological care.
Trial registration number
NCT01054963, NCT01054131.
PMCID: PMC3612764  PMID: 23457326
Arthritis; Early Inflammatory Arthritis; Health Services Research; Rheumatoid Arthritis
14.  Police Department Personnel Stress Resilience Training: An Institutional Case Study 
The objective of this case study was to test the impact in law enforcement personnel of an innovative self-regulation and resilience building program delivered via an iPad (Apple Inc, Cupertino, California) app and personal mentoring. The Stress Resilience Training System (SRTS) app includes training on stress and its effects, HRV coherence biofeedback, a series of HeartMath self-regulation techniques (The Institute of HeartMath, Boulder Creek, California), and HRV-controlled games. The stressful nature of law enforcement work is well established, and the need for meaningful and effective stress resilience training programs is becoming better understood, as it has been in the military. Law enforcement and military service share many stress-related features including psychological stressors connected with the mission, extended duty cycles, and exposure to horrific scenes of death and injury. San Diego (California) Police Department personnel who participated in the study were 12 sworn officers and 2 dispatchers, 10 men and 4 women. The SRTS intervention comprised an introductory 2-hour training session, 6 weeks of individualized learning and practice with the SRTS app, and four 1-hour telephone mentoring sessions by experienced HeartMath mentors spread over a four week period. Outcome measures were the Personal and Organizational Quality Assessment (POQA) survey, the mentors' reports of their observations, and records of participants' comments from the mentoring sessions. The POQA results were overwhelmingly positive: All four main scales showed improvement; Emotional Vitality improved by 25% (P=.05) and Physical Stress improved by 24% (P=.01). Eight of the nine subscales showed improvement, with the Stress subscale, perhaps the key measure of the study, improving by approximately 40% (P=.06). Participant responses were also uniformly positive and enthusiastic. Individual participants praised the program and related improvements in both on-the-job performance and personal and familial situations. The results support the efficacy of the program to achieve its goal of building stress resilience and improving officer wellness by providing practical self-regulation skills for better management of emotional energy. We conclude that the SRTS program for building resilience and improving psychological wellness can be as effective for law enforcement as it is for military personnel.
PMCID: PMC4010956  PMID: 24808985
Stress; resilience; heart rate variability; HRV; coherence advantage; mentoring; law enforcement; apps; HeartMath
15.  More mentoring needed? A cross-sectional study of mentoring programs for medical students in Germany 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:68.
Despite increasing recognition that mentoring is essential early in medical careers, little is known about the prevalence of mentoring programs for medical students. We conducted this study to survey all medical schools in Germany regarding the prevalence of mentoring programs for medical students as well as the characteristics, goals and effectiveness of these programs.
A definition of mentoring was established and program inclusion criteria were determined based on a review of the literature. The literature defined mentoring as a steady, long-lasting relationship designed to promote the mentee's overall development. We developed a questionnaire to assess key characteristics of mentoring programs: the advocated mentoring model, the number of participating mentees and mentors, funding and staff, and characteristics of mentees and mentors (e.g., level of training). In addition, the survey characterized the mentee-mentor relationship regarding the frequency of meetings, forms of communication, incentives for mentors, the mode of matching mentors and mentees, and results of program evaluations. Furthermore, participants were asked to characterize the aims of their programs. The questionnaire consisted of 34 questions total, in multiple-choice (17), numeric (7) and free-text (10) format. This questionnaire was sent to deans and medical education faculty in Germany between June and September 2009. For numeric answers, mean, median, and standard deviation were determined. For free-text items, responses were coded into categories using qualitative free text analysis.
We received responses from all 36 medical schools in Germany. We found that 20 out of 36 medical schools in Germany offer 22 active mentoring programs with a median of 125 and a total of 5,843 medical students (6.9 - 7.4% of all German medical students) enrolled as mentees at the time of the survey. 14 out of 22 programs (63%) have been established within the last 2 years. Six programs (27%) offer mentoring in a one-on-one setting. 18 programs (82%) feature faculty physicians as mentors. Nine programs (41%) involve students as mentors in a peer-mentoring setting. The most commonly reported goals of the mentoring programs include: establishing the mentee's professional network (13 programs, 59%), enhancement of academic performance (11 programs, 50%) and counseling students in difficulties (10 programs, 45%).
Despite a clear upsurge of mentoring programs for German medical students over recent years, the overall availability of mentoring is still limited. The mentoring models and goals of the existing programs vary considerably. Outcome data from controlled studies are needed to compare the efficiency and effectiveness of different forms of mentoring for medical students.
PMCID: PMC3191506  PMID: 21943281
16.  Institution-to-Institution Mentoring to Build Capacity in 24 Local US Health Departments: Best Practices and Lessons Learned 
Institutional mentoring may be a useful capacity-building model to support local health departments facing public health challenges. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene conducted a qualitative evaluation of an institutional mentoring program designed to increase capacity of health departments seeking to address chronic disease prevention. The mentoring program included 2 program models, a one-to-one model and a collaborative model, developed and implemented for 24 Communities Putting Prevention to Work grantee communities nationwide.
We conducted semi-structured telephone interviews to assess grantees’ perspectives on the effectiveness of the mentoring program in supporting their work. Two interviews were conducted with key informants from each participating community. Three evaluators coded and analyzed data using ATLAS.ti software and using grounded theory to identify emerging themes.
We completed 90 interviews with 44 mentees. We identified 7 key program strengths: learning from the New York City health department’s experience, adapting resources to local needs, incorporating new approaches and sharing strategies, developing the mentor–mentee relationship, creating momentum for action, establishing regular communication, and encouraging peer interaction.
Participants overwhelmingly indicated that the mentoring program’s key strengths improved their capacity to address chronic disease prevention in their communities. We recommend dissemination of the results achieved, emphasizing the need to adapt the institutional mentoring model to local needs to achieve successful outcomes. We also recommend future research to consider whether a hybrid programmatic model that includes regular one-on-one communication and in-person conferences could be used as a standard framework for institutional mentoring.
PMCID: PMC4184087  PMID: 25275805
17.  Mentoring programs for medical students - a review of the PubMed literature 2000 - 2008 
BMC Medical Education  2010;10:32.
Although mentoring is acknowledged as a key to successful and satisfying careers in medicine, formal mentoring programs for medical students are lacking in most countries. Within the framework of planning a mentoring program for medical students at Zurich University, an investigation was carried out into what types of programs exist, what the objectives pursued by such programs are, and what effects are reported.
A PubMed literature search was conducted for 2000 - 2008 using the following keywords or their combinations: mentoring, mentoring program, medical student, mentor, mentee, protégé, mentorship. Although a total of 438 publications were identified, only 25 papers met the selection criteria for structured programs and student mentoring surveys.
The mentoring programs reported in 14 papers aim to provide career counseling, develop professionalism, increase students' interest in research, and support them in their personal growth. There are both one-to-one and group mentorships, established in the first two years of medical school and continuing through graduation. The personal student-faculty relationship is important in that it helps students to feel that they are benefiting from individual advice and encourages them to give more thought to their career choices. Other benefits are an increase in research productivity and improved medical school performance in general. Mentored students also rate their overall well-being as higher. - The 11 surveys address the requirements for being an effective mentor as well as a successful mentee. A mentor should empower and encourage the mentee, be a role model, build a professional network, and assist in the mentee's personal development. A mentee should set agendas, follow through, accept criticism, and be able to assess performance and the benefits derived from the mentoring relationship.
Mentoring is obviously an important career advancement tool for medical students. In Europe, more mentoring programs should be developed, but would need to be rigorously assessed based on evidence of their value in terms of both their impact on the career paths of juniors and their benefit for the mentors. Medical schools could then be monitored with respect to the provision of mentorships as a quality characteristic.
PMCID: PMC2881011  PMID: 20433727
18.  Career support in medicine - experiences with a mentoring program for junior physicians at a university hospital 
Purpose: Until now, mentoring has hardly been used by the medical profession in German-speaking countries as a means of supporting junior physicians in their careers. The aim of the mentoring project described here was to obtain information for promoting and developing future mentoring programs at a university hospital.
Method: A new integrated mentoring model was developed and implemented over a 12-month period. Peer groups were advised on the mentoring process by mentors and program managers. A total of eight mentoring groups (40 peers) from four departments of a university hospital took part in the project: four voluntarily, and four on a compulsory basis. The evaluation was carried out using qualitative methods for analysis of the group protocols and the focus group interviews with the participants.
Results: Group discussions revealed that individual mentees, young female physicians in particular, developed concrete career plans and initiated further career-relevant steps. Some mentees - again more women than men - were promoted to senior physician posts. Further measurable career steps were increased research and publishing activity, and research fellowships abroad. The group process developed in five typical phases (forming, storming, norming, performing, and finalizing), which differed according to whether the groups had been formed on a voluntary or compulsory basis. In the evaluation interviews, mentees emphasized the following as effective mentoring factors: Concrete definition of own career goals; exchange of experiences within the peer groups; support and motivation from the mentors; and fostering of the group process by the program managers.
Conclusion: Participation in mentoring programs has to be voluntary. Mentees are motivated, autonomous, goal-oriented and prepared to take action. Mentors serve as examples and advisers. They derive satisfaction from being held in high esteem, as well as from the advancement of their own careers. Program managers have experience in systems theory and group dynamics, structure the group processes, and evaluate the quality of the results. Hospital management should regard mentoring as a business strategy and a means of staff development and quality management, and provide the necessary resources. The mentoring program presented here is being extended to other departments of the hospital on the basis of the positive experiences it has offered.
PMCID: PMC2736485  PMID: 19742055
19.  Mentorship needs at academic institutions in resource-limited settings: a survey at makerere university college of health sciences 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:53.
Mentoring is a core component of medical education and career success. There is increasing global emphasis on mentorship of young scientists in order to train and develop the next leaders in global health. However, mentoring efforts are challenged by the high clinical, research and administrative demands. We evaluated the status and nature of mentoring practices at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MAKCHS).
Pre-tested, self-administered questionnaires were sent by email to all Fogarty alumni at the MAKCHS (mentors) and each of them was requested to complete and email back the questionnaire. In addition to training level and number of mentors, the questionnaires had open-ended questions covering themes such as; status of mentorship, challenges faced by mentors and strategies to improve and sustain mentorship within MAKCHS. Similarly, open-ended questionnaires were sent and received by email from all graduate students (mentees) registered with the Uganda Society for Health Scientists (USHS). Qualitative data from mentors and mentees was analyzed manually according to the pre-determined themes.
Twenty- two out of 100 mentors responded (14 email and 8 hard copy responses). Up to 77% (17/22) of mentors had Master's-level training and only 18% (4/22) had doctorate-level training. About 40% of the mentors had ≥ two mentees while 27% had none. Qualitative results showed that mentors needed support in terms of training in mentoring skills and logistical/financial support to carry out successful mentorship. Junior scientists and students reported that mentorship is not yet institutionalized and it is currently occurring in an adhoc manner. There was lack of awareness of roles of mentors and mentees. The mentors mentioned the limited number of practicing mentors at the college and thus the need for training courses and guidelines for faculty members in regard to mentorship at academic institutions.
Both mentors and mentees were willing to improve mentorship practices at MAKCHS. There is need for institutional commitment to uphold and sustain the mentorship best practices. We recommend a collaborative approach by the stakeholders in global health promotion to build local capacity in mentoring African health professionals.
PMCID: PMC3170866  PMID: 21801406
Mentorship; capacity building; health care delivery; research; academic institutions; Africa
20.  Outcomes of a Peer Mentor Implemented Fitness Program in Older Adults: A Quasi-Randomized Controlled Trial 
To investigate the effectiveness of different applications of mentoring in an older adult exercise program, this study compared the physical fitness scores, the retention and participation rates of older adults trained by student mentors, peer mentors, peer mentors working independently of the researchers, and a non-exercising control group.
106 older adults were recruited and assigned to one of the groups using quasi-randomization. All three experimental groups completed a 14-week intervention. Pre- and post-training assessments of fitness were completed, and retention and participation rates were compared.
High retention and participation rates, as well as significant improvements in fitness scores from baseline to post-test were observed in all three mentored groups. While the control group showed improvement only in one fitness test, subjects in the mentored groups improved similarly in all measures, regardless of the type of mentoring received.
These findings indicated effectiveness of the peer mentor model and suggested that with adequate preparation peer mentors may be capable of guiding older adult participants effectively without assistance from professional staff.
PMCID: PMC3708998  PMID: 23279966
elderly exercise; layperson leadership; older adult fitness; peer counseling
21.  Clinical mentorship to improve pediatric quality of care at the health centers in rural Rwanda: a qualitative study of perceptions and acceptability of health care workers 
Despite evidence supporting Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) as a strategy to improve pediatric care in countries with high child mortality, its implementation faces challenges related to lack of or poor post-didactic training supervision and gaps in necessary supporting systems. These constraints lead to health care workers’ inability to consistently translate IMCI knowledge and skills into practice. A program providing mentoring and enhanced supervision at health centers (MESH), focusing on clinical and systems improvement was implemented in rural Rwanda as a strategy to address these issues, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of pediatric care at rural health centers. We explored perceptions of MESH from the perspective of IMCI clinical mentors, mentees, and district clinical leadership.
We conducted focus group discussions with 40 health care workers from 21 MESH-supported health centers. Two FGDs in each district were carried out, including one for nurses and one for director of health centers. District medical directors and clinical mentors had individual in-depth interviews. We performed a hermeneutic analysis using Atlas.ti v5.2.
Study participants highlighted program components in five key areas that contributed to acceptability and impact, including: 1) Interactive, collaborative capacity-building, 2) active listening and relationships, 3) supporting not policing, 4) systems improvement, and 5) real-time feedback. Staff turn-over, stock-outs, and other facility/systems gaps were identified as barriers to MESH and IMCI implementation.
Health care workers reported high acceptance and positive perceptions of the MESH model as an effective strategy to build their capacity, bridge the gap between knowledge and practice in pediatric care, and address facility and systems issues. This approach also improved relationships between the district supervisory team and health center-based care providers. Despite some challenges, many perceived a strong benefit on clinical performance and outcomes. This study can inform program implementers and policy makers of key components needed for developing similar health facility-based mentorship interventions and potential barriers and resistance which can be proactively addressed to ensure success.
PMCID: PMC4077561  PMID: 24950878
Clinical mentorship; Quality improvement; Pediatrics; Health centers; Perceptions; Acceptability; IMCI; Rwanda
22.  A Formal Mentorship Program for Faculty Development 
Objective. To describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of a formal mentorship program at a college of pharmacy.
Methods. After extensive review of the mentorship literature within the health sciences, a formal mentorship program was developed between 2006 and 2008 to support and facilitate faculty development. The voluntary program was implemented after mentors received training, and mentors and protégés were matched and received an orientation. Evaluation consisted of conducting annual surveys and focus groups with mentors and protégés.
Results. Fifty-one mentor-protégé pairs were formed from 2009 to 2012. A large majority of the mentors (82.8%-96.9%) were satisfied with the mentorship program and its procedures. The majority of the protégés (≥70%) were satisfied with the mentorship program, mentor-protégé relationship, and program logistics. Both mentors and protégés reported that the protégés most needed guidance on time management, prioritization, and work-life balance. While there were no significant improvements in the proteges’ number of grant submissions, retention rates, or success in promotion/tenure, the total number of peer-reviewed publications by junior faculty members was significantly higher after program implementation (mean of 7 per year vs 21 per year, p=0.03) in the college’s pharmacy practice and administration department.
Conclusions. A formal mentorship program was successful as measured by self-reported assessments of mentors and protégés.
PMCID: PMC4064477  PMID: 24954940
mentorship; mentor; protégé; pharmacy; faculty
23.  Cluster randomized controlled trial of a peer support program for people with diabetes: study protocol for the Australasian peers for progress study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:843.
Well managed diabetes requires active self-management in order to ensure optimal glycaemic control and appropriate use of available clinical services and other supports. Peer supporters can assist people with their daily diabetes self-management activities, provide emotional and social support, assist and encourage clinical care and be available when needed.
A national database of Australians diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is being used to invite people in pre-determined locations to participate in community-based peer support groups. Peer supporters are self-identified from these communities. All consenting participants receive diabetes self-management education and education manual prior to randomization by community to a peer support intervention or usual care. This multi-faceted intervention comprises four interconnected components for delivering support to the participants. (1) Trained supporters lead 12 monthly group meetings. Participants are assisted to set goals to improve diabetes self-management, discuss with and encourage each other to strengthen linkages with local clinical services (including allied health services) as well as provide social and emotional support. (2) Support through regular supporter-participant or participant-participant contact, between monthly sessions, is also promoted in order to maintain motivation and encourage self-improvement and confidence in diabetes self-management. (3) Participants receive a workbook containing diabetes information, resources and community support services, key diabetes management behaviors and monthly goal setting activity sheets. (4) Finally, a password protected website contains further resources for the participants. Supporters are mentored and assisted throughout the intervention by other supporters and the research team through attendance at a weekly teleconference. Data, including a self-administered lifestyle survey, anthropometric and biomedical measures are collected on all participants at baseline, 6 and 12 months. The primary outcome is change in cardiovascular disease risk using the UKPDS risk equation. Secondary outcomes include biomedical, quality of life, psychosocial functioning, and other lifestyle measures. An economic evaluation will determine whether the program is cost effective.
This manuscript presents the protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial of group-based peer support for people with type 2 diabetes in a community setting. Results from this trial will contribute evidence about the effectiveness of peer support in achieving effective self-management of diabetes.
Trial registration number
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR); ACTRN12609000469213
PMCID: PMC3519788  PMID: 23035666
Peer support; Diabetes; Self-management; Support group
24.  Supporting health behaviour change in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with telephone health-mentoring: insights from a qualitative study 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:55.
Adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviours is pivotal to chronic disease self-management as this influences disease progression and impact. This qualitative study investigated health behaviour changes adopted by participants with moderate or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) recruited to a randomised controlled study of telephone-delivered health-mentoring.
Community nurses trained as health-mentors used a patient-centred approach with COPD patients recruited in general practice to facilitate behaviour change, using a framework of health behaviours; ‘SNAPPS’ Smoking, Nutrition, Alcohol, Physical activity, Psychosocial well-being, and Symptom management, through regular phone calls over 12 months. Semi-structured interviews in a purposive sample sought feedback on mentoring and behaviour changes adopted. Interviews were analysed using iterative thematic and interpretative content approaches by two investigators.
Of 90 participants allocated to health-mentoring, 65 (72%) were invited for interview at 12-month follow up. The 44 interviewees, 75% with moderate COPD, had a median of 13 mentor contacts over 12 months, range 5–20. Interviewed participants (n = 44, 55% male, 43% current smokers, 75% moderate COPD) were representative of the total group with a mean age 65 years while 82% had at least one additional co-morbid chronic condition. Telephone delivery was highly acceptable and enabled good rapport. Participants rated ‘being listened to by a caring health professional’ as very valuable. Three participant groups were identified by attitude to health behaviour change: 14 (32%) actively making changes; 18 (41%) open to and making some changes and 12 (27%) more resistant to change. COPD severity or current smoking status was not related to group category. Mentoring increased awareness of COPD effects, helping develop and personalise behaviour change strategies, even by those not actively making changes. Physical activity was targeted by 43 (98%) participants and smoking by 14 (74%) current smokers with 21% reporting quitting. Motivation to maintain changes was increased by mentor support.
Telephone delivery of health-mentoring is feasible and acceptable to people with COPD in primary care. Health behaviours targeted by this population, mostly with moderate disease, were mainly physical activity and smoking reduction or cessation. Health-mentoring increased motivation and assisted people to develop strategies for making and sustaining beneficial change.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3411441  PMID: 22694996
Health-mentoring; Behaviour change; Primary care; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Physical activity; Smoking
25.  The positive impact of a facilitated peer mentoring program on academic skills of women faculty 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:14.
In academic medicine, women physicians lag behind their male counterparts in advancement and promotion to leadership positions. Lack of mentoring, among other factors, has been reported to contribute to this disparity. Peer mentoring has been reported as a successful alternative to the dyadic mentoring model for women interested in improving their academic productivity. We describe a facilitated peer mentoring program in our institution's department of medicine.
Nineteen women enrolled in the program were divided into 5 groups. Each group had an assigned facilitator. Members of the respective groups met together with their facilitators at regular intervals during the 12 months of the project. A pre- and post-program evaluation consisting of a 25-item self-assessment of academic skills, self-efficacy, and academic career satisfaction was administered to each participant.
At the end of 12 months, a total of 9 manuscripts were submitted to peer-reviewed journals, 6 of which are in press or have been published, and another 2 of which have been invited to be revised and resubmitted. At the end of the program, participants reported an increase in their satisfaction with academic achievement (mean score increase, 2.32 to 3.63; P = 0.0001), improvement in skills necessary to effectively search the medical literature (mean score increase, 3.32 to 4.05; P = 0.0009), an improvement in their ability to write a comprehensive review article (mean score increase, 2.89 to 3.63; P = 0.0017), and an improvement in their ability to critically evaluate the medical literature (mean score increased from 3.11 to 3.89; P = 0.0008).
This facilitated peer mentoring program demonstrated a positive impact on the academic skills and manuscript writing for junior women faculty. This 1-year program required minimal institutional resources, and suggests a need for further study of this and other mentoring programs for women faculty.
PMCID: PMC3325854  PMID: 22439908

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