Tang, T.S., M.M. Funnell, M. Gillard, R. Nwankwo, and Michele Heisler. 2011. "The Development of a Pilot Training Program for Peer Leaders in Diabetes Process and Content." Diabetes Educator, 37(1): 67-77.
Purpose The goal of this study is to describe the process of developing a program that trains peers to facilitate an empowerment-based diabetes self-management support intervention. Methods To guide and advise the development process, the authors formed a peer leader training action committee. The committee was an interdisciplinary group (principal investigator, nurse-certified diabetes educators, dietitian-certified diabetes educators, nutritionist, physician, and 3 community members) that met every 3 months over a 1-year period for continuous quality improvement meetings. During meetings, the committee reviewed and supervised the curriculum development, provided feedback, and informed modifications and improvements. Results The resulting peer leader training program is a 46-hour program with 2 training sessions conducted per week over a 12-week period. The competency-based training program is based on the theory of experiential learning, and it consists of 3 major components-namely, building a diabetes-related knowledge base, developing skills (communication, facilitation, and behavior change), and applying skills in experiential settings. All components are integrated within each training session using a range of instructional methods, including group brainstorming, group sharing, role-play, peer leader simulations, and group facilitation simulations. Conclusion Through the process described above, the authors developed a training program that equips peer leaders with the knowledge and skills to facilitate empowerment-based diabetes self-management support interventions. Future directions include conducting and evaluating the peer training program.