TitleThe Feasibility of Recruiting and Training Lay Leaders During Real-World Program Delivery and Scale-up: The Case of Walk With Ease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsConte, KP, Held, F, Pipitone, O, Bowman, S
JournalHealth Promot Pract
Date Published04/2019

INTRODUCTION: To maximize limited resources, many health promotion programs are designed to be delivered by volunteer lay leaders. But this model poses challenges to implementation in real-world settings and barriers to successfully scaling-up programs. This study examines the current lay leader training model for Walk With Ease, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded evidence-based arthritis program delivered at-scale.

METHOD: Recruited volunteers ( n = 106) opted into free online or in-person training and agreed to deliver one Walk With Ease program within the following year-only 49%, however, did. Using logistic regression models and qualitative interviews, we explored predictors of volunteer delivery.

RESULTS: Volunteers had higher odds of delivering programs if they trained online (odds ratio [OR] = 9.04, 95% confidence interval [CI: 2.30, 48.36]), previously taught health programs (OR = 15.52, 95% CI [3.51, 103.55]) or trained in the second year of implementation (OR = 27.08, 95% CI [2.63, 415.78]). Qualitative findings underscored that successful volunteers were readied by their previous health education experience.

CONCLUSIONS: While online training modes appear effective to prepare experienced volunteers, lay leaders required additional support. This calls into question whether lay-led delivery models are suitable for scaling-up programs with limited resources. Given the many lay-led health interventions for chronic disease self-management, investing in common training and infrastructures for lay leader development could advance the quality and sustainability of real-world program delivery.

Alternate JournalHealth Promot Pract
PubMed ID30971154