This article describes a pilot programme aiming to identify the strengths and challenges associated with a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) mentorship programme for rehabilitation professionals.
This unique pilot programme incorporated elements of problem-based learning, interprofessionalism and multiple mentoring models. A group of five physiotherapy mentees met initially with three clinician mentors, and three mentors who were persons living with HIV, for a one day workshop to develop relationships, identify learning needs and engage in learning through discussion of case scenarios. Subsequently they met formally every month via teleconference, over a five-month period, followed by a final one-day workshop. Qualitative evaluation included interviews and focus group methodology. Transcripts from these were analyzed through qualitative content analyses.
Participants viewed the mentorship programme positively, in particular the networks they were able to establish, and learning from the mentors living with HIV. However, barriers to participation were related to scheduling and lack of support to devote time to the programme from the mentees' clinical managers. Other challenges related to the mentees' limited opportunities to implement new knowledge, and to difficulties in engaging in informal mentorship activities.
Lessons learned from this pilot programme are of value to those interested in developing HIV-related mentorship experiences for rehabilitation health professionals or for those in other emerging areas of practice.