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Patient Educ Couns. 2007 Oct;68(2):131-8. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

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

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  • 1NHLI Division, Imperial College London, England.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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