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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.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.