Background: Peer-mentorship is a promising approach to support people with spinal cord injury (SCI), however, little research has examined how peer-mentorship is provided in terms of the frequency, duration, and sequence of topics and techniques used in real-time.
Objective: Use a dynamic systems approach called state space grids (SSGs) to understand how topics and techniques used in peer-mentorship conversations unfold in real-time.
Methods: Transcripts of peer-mentorship conversations (n=5; Average duration=42±20 minutes) were transcribed and coded for topics and techniques used by mentors and mentees. Noldus Observer XT was used to create a continuous stream of time-series data. Gridware was used to create a SSG for each peer-mentorship conversation. The top topics and techniques used by mentors and mentees based on frequency and duration were determined for each conversation.
Results: In total, 1453 statements were coded across the five transcripts (kappa=0.85; PABAK=0.96). Five SSGs were produced. Grid pattern analyses demonstrate variability in techniques used in peer-mentorship conversations. Commonly discussed topics by the mentor and mentee based on duration were personal information (10 minutes 55 seconds ± 6 minutes 30 seconds), chronic health care services (5 minutes 34 seconds ± 4 minutes 31 seconds), and emotional outcomes of injury (4 minutes 54 seconds ± 4 minutes 10 seconds).
Conclusions: Findings provide an initial understanding of the patterns of topics and techniques used within peer-mentorship conversations between people with SCI. These findings will provide a foundation for future research to create and implement recommendations to support quality peer-mentorship.