Session Title: ACR/ARHP Combined Abstract Session: Pediatric Rheumatology
Session Type: ACR/ARHP Combined Abstract Session
Session Time: 2:30PM-4:00PM
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is a common chronic disease that results in physical and emotional symptoms as well as difficulties in social and role functioning that negatively impact health-related quality of life (HRQL). Many youth with JIA are isolated, having never met another person with JIA and most do not receive comprehensive support to develop self-management skills. The Virtual Peer-to-Peer (VP2P) Program aims to fill this gap by providing peer mentoring via the Internet to improve the accessibility and acceptability of self-management programs while providing essential peer support for adolescents with JIA.
The VP2P program was developed in a phased approach. First, a needs assessment was completed in youth with JIA. Second, a systematic review of peer support programs for adolescents with chronic disease was conducted in order to highlight essential components of successful peer interventions. Third, the VP2P program was developed for adolescents with JIA, informed by results of the systematic review, and included a 2.5-day peer mentor training session. Fourth, using a waitlist pilot randomized control trial (RCT) design, young adult peer mentors (16-25 years; successfully managing their JIA) were matched to adolescent participants (12-18 years; diagnosed with JIA, English speaking, access to a computer with Internet) to provide peer support (emotional, informational, and appraisal) and education for effective self-management of JIA. All mentors and adolescents met American College of Rheumatology criteria for JIA. Mentors and adolescents connected 10 times over the 8-week study period using Skype video calls. Primary outcomes focused on implementation of the VP2P program and included measures of feasibility and acceptability. Secondary outcomes focused on effectiveness of the VP2P program and included measures of self-management, self-efficacy, pain, social support and HRQL.
Thirty adolescents (mean age 14.3±1.7 years, range = 12-17 years, 97% female) completed participation in the pilot RCT (intervention n = 16, control n = 14). Primary outcomes: Over half (64%) of adolescents who were approached agreed and consented to participate; 13% dropped out prior to beginning the intervention or did not complete the 10 full sessions; and 70% of participant-mentor pairings completed the program within 2 months. Median program length was 63.5 days. Average call length was twice the required amount with median call lengths of 45.2±17.2 minutes. Participants reported satisfaction with the program and all reported that they would recommend it to a friend. Participants reported median engagement levels of 8/10 (range = 7.5-10). Secondary outcomes: Participants who completed the VP2P program demonstrated significant improvements in their perceived ability to manage JIA (p = 0.04), improvements in social support (p = 0.03) and disease knowledge (p= 0.01) compared to controls.
The VP2P program is a promising intervention that improves accessibility and acceptability of self-management and peer support treatments for adolescents with JIA. Findings were used to inform a full-scale multi-site RCT of the VP2P program for adolescents with JIA.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Stinson JN, Ahola Kohut S, Amaria K, Bell MJ, Forgeron P, Kaufman M, Luca N, Spiegel LR. Virtual Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Support for Adolescents with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: The Virtual Peer-to-Peer Program [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015; 67 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/virtual-peer-to-peer-mentoring-support-for-adolescents-with-juvenile-idiopathic-arthritis-the-virtual-peer-to-peer-program/. Accessed January 31, 2023.
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