Lay educators in asthma self management: reflections on their training and experiences

Patient Educ Couns. 2007 Oct;68(2):131-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2007.05.009. Epub 2007 Jul 27.


Objective: To capture the experiences and feelings of lay educators in an asthma self-management programme to aid understanding of optimal methods of recruitment, training and retention, and to enhance their value within the programme.

Methods: A multi site randomised controlled equivalence trial of asthma educators and primary care practice based nurses during which the educators were asked to keep a diary of their experience. A qualitative thematic analysis of these diaries was undertaken.

Results: Eight lay educators supplied diaries. From these diaries emerged personal reasons for involvement in the programme, constructive comments on the training programme, a need for preparation for the realities of clinical practice and significant ongoing support and training.

Conclusion: Lay educators are a potential resource for giving self-management education to patients with long-term conditions such as asthma. However, there are some considerations that need to be taken into account regarding contracts, retention and continual support.

Practice implications: Lay educators need a flexible but comprehensive training programme, contracts, on site mentoring and support. They seem most contented when welcomed by health professionals and treated as part of the team.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / prevention & control*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Community Health Workers* / education
  • Community Health Workers* / organization & administration
  • Community Health Workers* / psychology
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse Practitioners / organization & administration
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Peer Group
  • Personnel Selection
  • Professional Role / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Care*
  • Self Efficacy