WCPT Africa Region Conference System, 9th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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The effectiveness of a peer Mentorship program in health science education
Joyce Diphale Mothabeng

Last modified: 2012-04-13


Purpose of the study: In 2009, a formal peer mentorship program was introduced by the physiotherapy department into the school of Health care sciences (HCS) at the University of Pretoria (UP). Understanding the factors that contribute to high-quality mentoring relationships is critical for the development of sustainable and effective student support programs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the mentors’ perceptions of mentor-mentee relationship. 

Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted with mentors from the school of HCS at UP.The mentors’ perceptions were assessed using the Match Characteristics Questionnaire (MCQ). The total MCQ score was calculated and converted to a percentage, a score that ranged between 0-45% indicated that mentor perceived the relationship as being poor, 46-69% was fair and 70-100% was good. Data were captured onto the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 17) and analyzed using descriptive and correlation statistics.

Results: Seventy three mentors (out of a total of 140) participated in the pilot study. The mean MCQ scores of the participants was 54.3 (sd 7.29), which fell in the fair category. No significant differences in total MCQ scores were found in relation to mentors’ demographic characteristics.  Age, however did have a small, but statistically significant influence on the mentor’s feelings regarding the mentor-mentee relationship.

Discussion and conclusion: The perception of only a fair mentor-mentee relationship suggests that measures need to be put in place to improve the mentoring relationship. The study findings should however be interpreted with caution as the sample size was small and skewed. To get a full picture of the mentor-mentee relationship, mentees’ perceptions were also need to be investigated. Further studies with larger samples, possibly longitudinal, are therefore recommended.

Keywords: Mentorship, mentor-mentee relationship, perceptions, MCQ,

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