Journal:Spinal Cord (formerly Paraplegia)
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):17, 55, 11, 1016-1022
Study explored the roles fulfilled by peer health coaches (PHCs) with spinal cord injury (SCI) during a randomized controlled trial called My Care My Call, a novel telephone-based, peer-led self-management intervention for adults with chronic SCI. The intervention consisted of 8 weekly calls, 4 bi-weekly calls, and 2 monthly calls, for a total of 14 calls over the course of 6 months. Calls focused on self-management and unmet health-care needs; peers chose conversation topics and PHCs had the flexibility to use specific tools and strategies to facilitate and focus conversations. Directed content analysis was used to qualitatively examine information from 504 tele-coaching calls, conducted with 42 participants with SCI, by two trained SCI PHCs. PHCs documented how and when they used the communication tools (CTs) and information delivery strategies (IDSs) they developed for the intervention. Interaction data were coded and analyzed to determine PHC roles in relation to CT and IDS utilization and application. Results showed that PHCs performed three principal roles: role model, supporter, and advisor. Role model interactions included CTs and IDSs that allowed PHCs to share personal experiences of managing and living with an SCI, including sharing their opinions and advice when appropriate. As supporters, PHCs used CTs and IDSs to build credible relationships based on dependability and reassuring encouragement. PHCs fulfilled the unique role of advisor using CTs and IDSs to teach and strategize with peers about SCI self-management.