Peer Educators' Perceptions of Training for and Implementing a Community-Based Nutrition Intervention for Older Adults

School of Dental Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne, NE24BW, UK.
Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly 02/2006; 25(3-4):147-71. DOI: 10.1300/J052v25n03_10
Source: PubMed


This study aimed to evaluate the use of peer educators in nutrition interventions with older people. A sample of 22 people aged 60+ were recruited and trained using an accredited course for Community Nutrition Assistants which included basic nutrition and group skills. They were paid to work as peer educators in a 20-week food club intervention which ran in 13 sheltered accommodation schemes for older people in northeast England. Clubs ran for 2 hours each week and included food preparation, food tasting and sharing information and ideas about food and health. This paper reports key findings from qualitative interviews with peer educators on their perspectives on their motivation to participate, their training and their implementation of the food club intervention. It discusses some of the issues involved in the training and use of peer educators and presents lessons learned, particularly the need to target training, according to prior experience and skills.

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    • "The latter are evidenced only in Europe (Gilroy 2003; Slivinske and Fitch 1987). The efficacy of peer education has been well established in other fields as well as with older adults (Buonocore and Sussman-Skalka 2002; Hyland et al. 2006; Sanders et al. 2006; Smith et al. 2003). An ecological model is useful in identifying the multiple levels required to support advocacy for public and personal health change and pointing to the locations at which interventions both separately and in interaction are likely to have the greatest effects (Kok et al. 2008; Ryerson Espino and Trickett 2008; Stokols 1992; Whaley and Haley 2008). "
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