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Training of lay health educators to implement an evidence-based behavioral weight loss intervention in rural senior centers



Training of lay health educators to implement an evidence-based behavioral weight loss intervention in rural senior centers



Gerontologist 53(1): 162-171



Lay health educators (LHEs) offer great promise for facilitating the translation of evidence-based health promotion programs to underserved areas; yet, there is little guidance on how to train LHEs to implement these programs, particularly in the crucial area of empirically validated obesity interventions. This article describes experiences in recruiting, training, and retaining 20 LHEs who delivered a 12-month evidence-based behavioral lifestyle intervention (based on the Diabetes Prevention Program) in senior centers across a rural state. A mixed method approach was used which incorporated collecting the folllowing: quantitative data on sociodemographic characteristics of LHEs; process data related to training, recruitment, intervention implementation, and retention of LHEs; and a quantitative program evaluation questionnaire, which was supplemented by a qualitative program evaluation questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were calculated for quantitative data, and qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis. The training program was well received, and the LHEs effectively recruited participants and implemented the lifestyle intervention in senior centers following a structured protocol. The methods used in this study produced excellent long-term retention of LHEs and good adherence to intervention protocol, and as such may provide a model that could be effective for others seeking to implement LHE-delivered health promotion programs.

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Accession: 056629810

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22936536

DOI: 10.1093/geront/gns094


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