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Trials. 2015 Nov 5;16:506. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-1028-z.

Testing the effectiveness of a mentoring intervention to improve social participation of adolescents with visual impairments: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
VU University, Section of Clinical Child and Family Studies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. e.c.m.heppe@vu.nl.
2
EMGO Institute of Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. e.c.m.heppe@vu.nl.
3
VU University, Section of Clinical Child and Family Studies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. s.kef@vu.nl.
4
EMGO Institute of Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. s.kef@vu.nl.
5
VU University, Section of Clinical Child and Family Studies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. c.schuengel@vu.nl.
6
EMGO Institute of Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. c.schuengel@vu.nl.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Social participation is challenging for people with visual impairments. As a result, on average, social networks are smaller, romantic relationships formed later, educational achievements lower, and career prospects limited. Adolescents on their way towards achieving these goals may benefit from the knowledge and experience of adults who have overcome similar difficulties. Therefore, a mentoring intervention, called Mentor Support, will be set up and studied in which adolescents with visual impairments are matched with successfully social participating adults with and without visual impairments. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Mentor Support. Secondary aims are to distinguish the importance of the disability-specific experience of mentors, predictors of success, and mediating factors.

METHODS/DESIGN:

The effect of Mentor Support will be tested in a randomized clinical trial, using pre-test one week before starting, post-test after 12 months, and follow-up after 18 months. Participants will be referred to one of the experimental groups or the control group, and this randomization will be stratified according to country region. Three groups are included in the trial: 40 participants will receive Mentor Support by mentors with a visual impairment in combination with care-as-usual, 40 participants will receive Mentor Support by mentors without visual impairments in combination with care-as-usual, and 40 participants will receive care-as-usual only. Mentor Support consists of 12 face-to-face meetings of the mentee with a mentor with an overall time period of one year. On a weekly basis, dyads have contact via email, the Internet, or telephone. The primary outcome measure is improved social participation within three domains (work/school, leisure activities, and social relationships). Mediator variables are psychosocial functioning and self-determination. Predictors such as demographics and personality are also investigated in order to distinguish the pathways to successful social participation. Intention-to-treat and completer analyses will be conducted.

DISCUSSION:

The primary outcomes of this trial regard increased social participation. The study may yield insights to further improve effects of support programs to adolescents with visual impairments.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Netherlands Trial Register NTR4768 (registered 4 September 2014).

PMID:
26541963
PMCID:
PMC4635581
DOI:
10.1186/s13063-015-1028-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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