Evaluating a sustainable model of peer mentoring in traumatic brain injury


The burden of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on the individual, their whānau, and society is significant and enduring. We have found that existing service provision does not address ongoing needs. There is increasing evidence for the benefit of peer mentoring interventions across a diversity of populations. This study is designed to see if a peer mentoring service could address some of the service gaps for people living with a TBI.

A peer mentor is someone who has had a TBI who is happy to talk things through and share their recovery experiences with someone who is new to TBI. A peer mentor spends time with someone who has had a more recent injury – they might share their own experiences and stories of their TBI, they can provide a safe space for people new to TBI to talk about their fears and concerns, and they can support people to get out into the community and do the things that matter to them

We tried this approach on a small scale in Auckland and found this to be acceptable and beneficial for both those acting as mentors and those they were mentoring (See doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020672). We are now setting up a peer mentoring service for people with TBI in Gisborne, Auckland and Northland.

This study is a randomised pragmatic waitlist trial with process evaluation design, and aims to test effectiveness of peer mentoring for improving participation, health and well-being outcomes following TBI compared to usual care.