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

ABSTRACT 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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