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Eval Program Plann. 2008 Feb;31(1):22-33. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Evaluation of a research mentorship program in community care.

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School of Nursing, Room HSc3N28G, McMaster University, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ont., Canada L8N 3Z5. ploegj@mcmaster.ca

Abstract

This article describes the results of a qualitative case study evaluating a research mentorship program in community care settings in Ontario, Canada. The purpose of the program was to build evaluation and research capacity among staff of community care agencies through a mentorship program. Data were collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, and written evaluations. Three themes were identified: taking hold, fostering hold, and holding on. Mentees took hold of new evaluation and research skills. Factors fostering hold included positive mentoring relationships and participation in relevant research projects. Mentees struggled to hold on to, and apply their skills within a community care context of challenges such as constrained resources and a mandate to provide client-centered care. The lessons learned include having trainees participate in relevant, time-limited evaluation and research projects, and early implementation of mechanisms to sustain integration of trainees' knowledge and skills within community care agencies.

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