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Peer mentorship: a key element in Active Rehabilitation
  1. Marianne Holth Dybwad1,
  2. Pia Wedege2,3
  1. 1Sunnaas Foundation, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2Department of Sport and Social Sciences, Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Nesoddtangen, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Marianne Holth Dybwad, Sunnaas Foundation, 0254 Oslo, Oslo, Norway; marianne.dybwad{at}

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The Sunnaas Foundation, a Norwegian non-profit foundation, has developed a Norwegian model of the Active Rehabilitation concept, in which peer mentorship is an essential element. Anecdotal evidence indicates that the participants’ experience increased independence in activities of daily living (ADL), including wheelchair skills, increased engagement in physical activities, social life and expanded social networks.

More than 1 billion people live with some form of physical disability, where nearly 200 million of these people experience considerable difficulties with physical functioning.1 In the years ahead, it is expected that the number of people with physical disabilities will increase, creating an even larger burden on these people and society.2 The WHO recommends employing non-health professionals such as peers to deliver a comprehensive range of healthcare and rehabilitation services to people with disability.2 The benefits of peer support may include improvements in self-sufficiency, self-efficacy, self-confidence, activity level and participation.3–6

What is Active Rehabilitation?

Active Rehabilitation is a community peer-based rehabilitation concept initiated by ‘RG Aktiv Rehabilitering’ in Sweden ( in the …

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  • Contributors Both authors have contributed to the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.