Author Archives: medpal

Peermentoring: Mentor matching in in peer health communities


Peer health communities offer a broad base of personal health expertise, but uncovering mentors with shared circumstances takes time, effort, and can yield advice that doesn’t quite fit one’s situation. To address this challenge, we are collaborating with an online cancer community to identify mentorship characteristics of community members, develop social matching tools to connect suitable peers for mentorship, and assess the value of social matching for peer mentorship. Findings will enhance our understanding of patients’ peer support needs and improve the way we meet those needs.


Finding the right mentor in an online health community is challenging

Mentor matching connects patients with helpful, experienced peers


Profile community members’ mentoring characteristics and then recommend peers with social matching tools

Process posts to extract
char­ac­ter­is­tics into indi­vid­ual men­tor­ing profiles
Develop tools that match mentoring profiles in different contexts 


This work is supported by Supported by National Science Foundation Smart health and wellbeing award #111718.