INTRODUCTION: Mentored clinical practice is central to demonstrating achievement of International Educational Standards in advanced musculoskeletal physical therapy . While traditionally delivered face-to-face, telehealth e-mentoring is a novel alternative to offering this unique pedagogy to facilitate mentee critical reflection, deeper learning and enhanced knowledge translation to optimise patient care . With COVID-19 resulting in widespread adoption of telehealth and access to mentors often limited by geography or cost, the potential value of telehealth e-mentoring needs investigating . To investigate the experiences and outcomes of multiple stakeholders (student mentees, mentors and patients) engaged in musculoskeletal physical therapy telehealth e-mentoring across two universities (UK and Canada).
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Using case study design, we will use sequential mixed methods involving qualitative and quantitative components based on existing evidence . To examine the influence of telehealth e-mentoring on health outcomes in patients with musculoskeletal complaints, we will use patient-reported outcomes for satisfaction, patient empowerment and change in musculoskeletal health . We will conduct semistructured interviews to explore the development of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, communication skills and confidence of students engaged in telehealth e-mentoring . To explore the mentor acceptability and appropriateness of telehealth e-mentoring, we will conduct a focus group in each site . Finally, we will include a focus group of participants from each site to allow a cross-cultural comparison of findings to inform international stakeholders . Quantitative data will be analysed using descriptive statistics (median and IQR) to describe changes in outcome data and qualitative data will be analysed following the Framework Method .
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has ethical approval from both institutions: the University of Birmingham (ERN_20-0695) and Western University (2020-116233-47832). Findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and disseminated to key stakeholders in musculoskeletal physical therapy education and practice.