Preparing PHOENIX to Fly: Building Capacity for Research on Spinal Cord Injury Peer Mentoring

Sponsor/Type: DHHS/NIDILRR
Project Period: 09/01/2022 – 08/31/2025


This 3 year field initiated project will drive the next steps in the development and testing of our community-based, peer-led, spinal cord injury (SCI) self-management intervention known as “PHOENIX” (Peer Health Outreach, Education, aNd Information eXchange). The aims and objectives of this project support further development and refinements of our original PHOENIX intervention in preparation for future efficacy testing on a national scale.

The activities of this project are designed to achieve the goal of building expanded capacity of our academic-community partnership for research on community-based SCI peer mentoring. To accomplish this goal, the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing is engaging with key community stakeholders (the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association, United Spinal Association, More Than Walking, and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation).

The study aims are to:

  1. Describe the structure, processes, and outcomes of peer mentoring valued by the SCI community using a sequential explanatory mixed methods design
  2. Evaluate the implementation of an adaptation of PHOENIX by a community-based nonprofit organization using a program evaluation approach

Results of this study will generate evidence from community-engaged research, guided by people with SCI, to inform future development, testing, and dissemination of effective, scalable peer mentoring interventions, such as PHOENIX, for this population. Our long range goal is the development of evidence-based standards that will facilitate future design and rigorous study of community-based peer mentoring programs that promote improved community living and participation outcomes for people with SCI.

For more information contact
Susan D. Newman