A Scoping Review of Peer Mentorship Studies for People with Disabilities: Exploring Interaction Modality and Frequency of Interaction

Health Commun. 2021 Dec;36(14):1841-1851. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2020.1796293. Epub 2020 Jul 31.


Given our understanding of the importance of peer mentorship for people with disabilities, research needs to begin exploring characteristics of the mentor-mentee relationship that could contribute to the observed positive outcomes. To date, no review has examined characteristics of peer mentorship (i.e. interaction modality, interaction frequency) that could impact the quality and effectiveness of this service. The primary purpose was to synthesize the peer-reviewed peer mentorship literature for people with disabilities and report on the interaction modality and frequency employed in each study. A secondary purpose was to document the results of studies that have tested relationships between the outcomes of peer mentorship and interaction modality or frequency. A scoping review was performed that involved a systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, and SPORTDiscus. Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Articles reported five different interaction modalities; the telephone (n = 12) was the most common. Frequency of interactions was reported in nine studies with mentees reporting between 3 and 77 interactions with their mentor. Only one study attempted to analyze the mediating or moderating effects of modality and frequency on the reported outcomes. In conclusion, peer mentorship is occurring through various interaction modalities and at varying frequencies. Future research should focus on examining the impact that modality and frequency of interaction have on outcomes of peer mentorship.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disabled Persons*
  • Humans
  • Mentors*
  • Peer Group