Peer educators' perceptions of training for and implementing a community-based nutrition intervention for older adults.
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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ABSTRACT: Background: Enhancing the effectiveness of the community and aged care workforce to prevent malnutrition and functional decline is important in reducing hospital and aged care facility demand. Objective: To investigate the impact of nutrition-related interventions delivered to or by informal carers and non-clinical community care workers on malnutrition-related health outcomes of community-dwelling older adults (≥65years). Methods: Intervention studies were searched for using six electronic databases for English-language publications from January 1980 to 30 May 2012. Results: Nine studies were eligible for inclusion. The strength and quality of the evidence was moderate (six studies with level II intervention evidence, five with positive quality). Types of interventions used were highly varied. The majority of interventions were delivered to informal carers (6 studies), with three of these studies also involving older adult care recipients. Five interventions were targeted at identifying, preventing and/or treating malnutrition specifically (two positive quality, three neutral quality, n=2368). As a result of these interventions, nutritional status improved or stabilized (two positive quality, two neutral quality, n=2333). No study reported an improvement in functional status but two successfully prevented further decline in their participants (two neutral quality, n=1097). Conclusion: Interventions targeted at identifying, preventing and/or treating malnutrition were able to improve or prevent decline in nutritional and functional status, without increasing informal carer burden. The findings of this review support the involvement of non-clinical community care workers and informal carers as part of the nutritional care team for community-dwelling older adults.The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 10/2013; 17(8):645-651. DOI:10.1007/s12603-013-0341-z · 2.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: The home-based Otago Exercise Programme has been shown to increase sustained physical-activity levels in older people recruited through primary care, when supported by health professionals. The ProAct65+ trial is testing this programme using volunteer peer mentors to support behaviour change. This qualitative study explored how these peer mentors experienced their role. Methods: Ten peer mentors from the ProAct65+ trial were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Results: Peer mentors reported positive experiences including meeting new people, watching mentees progress, developing friendships and being shown gratitude for their support. Key barriers and facilitators to the mentoring process included the home and telephone as settings for support, geography and making contact with mentees. Conclusion: Findings from this study can help the development of peer mentor programmes in primary care for older people. Future programmes should recruit peer mentors who are local to where mentoring is needed to reduce travel difficulties.Primary Health Care Research & Development 01/2014; DOI:10.1017/S1463423613000510