Peer Mentoring for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease and their Caregivers: A Qualitative Study

Open Access
Liaghat, Sophia
Graduate Program:
Public Health Sciences
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 15, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Nasr Ghahramani , Thesis Advisor
  • quality of life
  • renal failure
  • patient engagement
  • depression
Background: Peer mentorship may enhance patient engagement for those with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) (stages 4 and 5); yet, the approaches and qualities (i.e., online vs in-person) that make a good mentor are unclear. This study sought to determine these qualities by conducting focus groups with mentees from the mentorship program in a randomized peer-education study. Methods: 11 focus group meetings were conducted with mentees (n=34). Mentees were patients with advanced CKD and their caregivers who were matched with trained patient and caregiver peer-mentors for in-person or online mentorships. Meetings were audio-recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed by three facilitators who concurred with the significant results. Results: Three important themes emerged: (1) Compared with phone or online communication, in-person meetings facilitated meaningful partnerships; (2) good mentors were relatable and good listeners; and (3) mentorship program provided support. Conclusions: A mentorship program for patients with advanced CKD may provide them with substantial support, particularly when mentorship is conducted in-person and the mentor is a relatable, empathetic listener.