Investigating the influence of interaction modality on the communication patterns of spinal cord injury peer mentors
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ObjectivesTo examine how the quality of spinal cord injury peer mentorship relationships and mentor-mentee behaviors are impacted by interaction modality.
MethodsUsing a within-subjects, repeated measures, experimental design, peer mentors (n = 8) completed two mentoring sessions with a standardized mentee in a telephone and a video chat condition. Measures of therapeutic alliance and autonomy supportiveness were administered following each session. Mentors' leadership behaviors, motivational interviewing skills, and behavior change techniques were compared across conditions. Mentors' and mentees' use of motivational interviewing skills and behavior change techniques were further analyzed using state space grids.
ResultsMentors' therapeutic alliance, autonomy supportiveness, use of leadership behaviors, motivational interviewing skills, and behavior change techniques did not significantly differ across the two conditions (ps > 0.123; Cohen's d range = 0.218-0.619). State space grids analyses revealed that the dynamic structure of mentoring conversations was similar when interactions occurred through the telephone versus video chat.
ConclusionsMentors were effective at forming positive, autonomy supportive relationships with mentees in telephone and video chat interaction conditions. Mentors also used leadership/counselling behaviors to a similar extent when interacting through these two modalities.
Practice implicationsOrganizations that provide peer mentorship can have confidence in using both telephone and video chat modalitites.
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