Sociodemographic Factors Associated with Types of Projects Implemented by Volunteer Lay Health Educators in Their Congregations

J Relig Health. 2018 Oct;57(5):1771-1778. doi: 10.1007/s10943-018-0669-0.


This study focused on the association between type of community health interventions and lay health educator variables. Lay health educators are volunteers from local faith communities who complete a healthcare training program, taught by physicians in-training. Lay health educators are instructed to implement health-related initiatives in their respective communities after graduation. Of the 72 graduates since 2011, we surveyed 55 lay health educators to gain insight into their involvement with their congregation and the type of health projects they have implemented. We dichotomized the health projects into "raising awareness" and "teaching new health skills." Using adjusted logistic regression models, variables associated with implementing health projects aimed at teaching health skills included length of time as a member of their congregation, current employment, and age. These results may help future programs prepare lay health community educators for the type of health interventions they intend to implement in their respective communities.

Keywords: Community; Congregations; Health literacy; Lay health educator.

MeSH terms

  • Health Education*
  • Health Educators*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Protestantism*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Volunteers