Robert Gallagher, DC, MBA ACSM EP-C, CSCS
Razan Hamed, PhD., OTR/L
Background: This study explored the benefits of a new peer-mentorship program designed for Master's-level occupational therapy students.
Method: This was a descriptive study of an entry-level Master’s of occupational therapy (MOT) program. A group of entry-level MOT students participated in the program as mentees (n = 37 in summer 2019, n = 39 in fall 2019) and mentors (n = 9 in summer 2019, n = 8 in fall 2019) for two academic semesters. Feedback about the process and outcomes of the peer-mentorship program was collected at the end of each semester.
Results: The data showed that mentees reported the mentorship program helped them (a) acclimate to the occupational therapy program (89.19% in summer, 94.87% in fall), (b) promote their success in their occupational therapy program (89.19% in summer; 92.31% in fall), (c) help build self-confidence (72.98% in summer, 82.05% in fall), (d) improve communication skills (64.86% in summer, 69.24% in fall), and (e) reduce stress levels (78.38% in summer, 89.75% in fall). All mentors reported enhanced self-confidence and communication skills and enjoyed being part of the mentorship program.
Conclusion: The peer-mentorship program is a cost-effective and helpful tool for entry-level occupational therapy students. The program can help students be successful in their occupational therapy studies, navigate campus resources, reduce stress, build self-confidence, and improve their communication skills. With students’ current mental health and academic challenges, such a program can benefit students’ success and well-being. The program can be a resource for occupational therapy programs in building an alumni base and future fieldwork supervisors.
Gallagher, R. G., & Hamed, R. (2022). Benefits of Peer-Mentorship for Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Students: A Descriptive Study. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 10(4), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1946