Patient Peer Mentoring

I was browsing #HAWMC on Twitter and came across someone who said she is paying it forward by volunteering her time as a patient mentor for those newly-diagnosed with psoriasis. I googled the mentoring program of the National Psoriasis Foundation – it’s called Psoriasis One to One. There is a mentor page where one can find out more and choose a mentor based on their profiles. They are patients who have had psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. The website lists what one can expect from a mentor –

  • Disease and treatment information (not medical advice).
  • Resources, such as locating a health care provider experienced in treating psoriatic diseases in your area, and opportunities to connect with others in the psoriatic disease community.
  • Goal setting goals for a healthier lifestyle
  • Emotional support

I’ve not heard of a similar mentoring program in Manila and wanted to find out if there was one for diabetes. My Google search led me to a patient mentoring program for type 1 diabetes by the JDRF. They conduct trainings for patients to become mentors. There are other mentoring programs for transplant patients, those with kidney failure by the National Kidney Foundation, amputations and cancer. I like the name of the last one for cancer – fourth angel. Scott Hamilton had identified three angels that helped him with cancer: first, his oncologist, second his oncology nurse and third, his friends and family. He founded this mentoring program where mentors are called fourth angels.

These programs offer support via phone, email or visits. I couldn’t find a formal mentoring program using social media though I would guess that could happen too.

Join me for the #HealthXPH tweet chat on Saturday, 18 April 9 pm Manila (9 am EST). Let’s discuss the following –

T1 As a patient, do you need a peer mentor and why? As a healthcare provider, what do you think of patient peer mentoring?

T2 What qualities/qualifications are expected from a patient peer mentor?

T3 Is social media an appropriate platform for patient peer mentoring vs visits, email or phone?