Peer Educators' Perceptions of Training for and Implementing a Community-Based Nutrition Intervention for Older Adults
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.
Available from: Emil Coman
- "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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ABSTRACT: In this paper we describe a successful multi-level participatory intervention grounded in principles of individual and group empowerment, and guided by social construction theory. The intervention addressed known and persistent inequities in influenza vaccination among African American and Latino older adults, and associated infections, hospitalizations and mortality. It was designed to increase resident ability to make informed decisions about vaccination, and to build internal and external infrastructure to support sustainability over time. The intervention brought a group of social scientists, vaccine researchers, geriatricians, public health nurses, elder services providers and advocates together with senior housing management and activist African American and Latino residents living in public senior housing in a small east coast city. Two buildings of equal size and similar ethnic composition were randomized as intervention and control buildings. Pre and post intervention surveys were conducted in both buildings, measuring knowledge, attitudes and peer norms. Processes and outcomes were documented at four levels: Influenza Strategic Alliance (macro and exo levels), building management (meso level), building resident committee (meso level) and individual residents. The Influenza Strategic Alliance (I.S.A.) provided ongoing resources, information and vaccine; the building management provided economic and other in-kind resources and supported residents to continue flu clinics in the building. The V.I.P. Resident Committee conducted flu campaigns with flu clinics in English and Spanish. The vaccination rate in the intervention building at post test exceeded the study goal of 70% and showed a significant improvement over the control building. The intervention achieved desired outcomes at all four levels and resulted in a significant increase in influenza vaccination, and improvements in pro-vaccination knowledge, beliefs, and understanding of health consequences.
Available from: Nancye Peel
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ABSTRACT: Peer education models are well established as a means of delivering health and social welfare information. Common themes identified in regard to peer education are that information sharing and transfer take place; attempts are made to influence knowledge, attitudes or behaviour; that it occurs between people who share similar characteristics or experiences; and that it relies on influential members of a social group or category. Although it is most often associated with younger age-groups, there is growing evidence of involvement of older people as peer educators. As part of community-based fall prevention interventions, there is considerable scope for contribution by peer mentors. This paper explores the theoretical basis for using senior volunteers as peer educators, discusses advantages and disadvantages of this model of service delivery for health promotion of older people and, specifically, reviews the evidence for effectiveness in relation to fall prevention.
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ABSTRACT: Aim: There are issues surrounding the apparent decline and devaluing of cooking skills in the population, potential health impacts and the role of dietitians. The present paper aims to outline several arguments and raise questions on the relationship between cooking and dietetics.
Methods: Evidence from dietetics and nutrition journals and other sources is used to develop positions for dietetics and its relationship to cooking and cooking skills
Results: The historical relationship between dietetics and home economics has seen dietetics professionally distance itself by its scientific education on food and nutrition, rather than actual involvement with cooking. In pursuing this rational scientific approach there are concerns that dietitians have inadvertently supported the growth of the functional and convenience food market, particularly given the demise of home economics as a skill-based curricula in schools in several states. There is a need to consider what role cooking skills could have in dietetics training as a professional competency for practice, particularly for public health interventions. This is in the light of Commonwealth government funding that is legitimising cooking skill interventions as a policy response to obesity. There may be a role for dietitians to develop partnerships and train a new professional category or paraprofessionals and/or peer educators to deliver cooking skill interventions
Conclusion: There is a need for research on dietitian's views and use of cooking skill interventions. This would help answer whether we should consider cooking and cooking skills as part of our professional practice and whether cooking should be a dietetic competency.
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