Objective: This study determined the feasibility of training adults with diabetes to lead diabetes self-management support (DSMS) interventions, examined whether participants can achieve the criteria required for successful graduation, and assessed perceived efficacy of and satisfaction with the peer leader training (PLT) program.
Methods: We recruited nine African-American adults with diabetes for a 46-h PLT pilot program conducted over 12 weeks. The program utilized multiple instructional methods, reviewed key diabetes education content areas, and provided communication, facilitation, and behavior change skills training. Participants were given three attempts to achieve the pre-established competency criteria for diabetes knowledge, empowerment-based facilitation, active listening, and self-efficacy.
Results: On the first attempt 75%, 75%, 63%, and 75% passed diabetes knowledge, empowerment-based facilitation, active listening, and self-efficacy, respectively. Those participants who did not pass on first attempt passed on the second attempt. Participants were highly satisfied with the program length, balance between content and skills development, and preparation for leading support activities.
Conclusion: Findings suggest that it is feasible to train and graduate peer leaders with the necessary knowledge and skills to facilitate DSMS interventions.
Practical implications: With proper training, peer support may be a viable model for translating and sustaining DSMS interventions into community-based settings.
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